Cattle buyers who had their hands tied as a result of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) can resume activity as the reduction period ends today, Wednesday, June 30.

The initial reduction period for bovine manure as part of the scheme was July 1, 2020 to today, June 30, 2021.

However, as a result of the Covid-19 impact on some farmers in meeting their 5% nitrates reduction requirement, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) wrote to the European Commission in January 2021 seeking an extension of the reduction period.


The nitrates figures were calculated by taking the average number of animals in each age category on a farm holding over the 12-month period from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

The department opened the facility to change the reduction period in March 19, this year and the closing date for the deferral was June 21.

However, it is important to note the deferral was merely an option for farmers, who can still stick with the original reduction period if they are on course to meet it.

BEAM payments

The measure provided a payment of €100/head for beef finishers and €40/head for suckler farmers.

Finishers were eligible to apply for a maximum of 100 animals per applicant; while the max-out limit for suckler farmers was 40 animals.

For animals to have been eligible for the scheme, one of two key criteria options must be met:

  • Bovine animals older than 12 months-of-age set to slaughter in a reference period from the week starting September 24, 2018 to the week starting May 6, 2019;
  • Suckler cows with progeny born in the 2018 calendar year.

Dairy herds were not be eligible; while dealer or agent herds were also deemed ineligible.

To be eligible, applicant farmers must have been in either an environmental scheme or the Bord Bia Quality Assurance (QA) scheme.