Payments totalling €37 million have commenced to 21,000 farmers under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP).

News of the payments commencing was confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, this morning.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Creed said: “I am particularly pleased that payments have commenced for the third year of this innovative programme, which will bring about reductions in Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions – while also introducing genetic technology into the national herd thus improving farm profitability.

These payments, worth €37 million, have commenced issuing to 21,000 farmers who have verified their compliance with the 2017 requirements.

“Payments under BDGP II will also commence in the coming days. In recent months my department has been issuing payments to farmers across a range of schemes including BPS, ANC, Knowledge Transfer, GLAS, and the new Sheep Welfare Scheme.

“I am very aware of the importance of these schemes for the farming community, and they provide a significant financial boost for both individual farmers and the wider rural economy,” the minister said.

The BDGP provides for six years of payments to farmers for completion of actions which deliver accelerated genetic improvement in the Irish national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability.

BDGP payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis, as more farmers verify their compliance with the 2017 scheme requirements.

Minister Creed urged participating farmers “to return all surveys and genotyping samples and/or complete the carbon navigator update as soon as possible to facilitate payment”.

The second phase of the programme – BDGP II – opened earlier this year and the deadline for applications closed in May. Farmers will be required to complete a range of actions – similar to those participating in the original BDGP – over the course of six years, starting in 2017 and concluding in 2022.