It is understood that payments under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme are to commence this week.

Some 24,500 farmers are registered in the programme.

Payments under the Genomics programme will issue to herds who have met the programmes 2016 requirements, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said last month.

“The commencement of these payments will ensure that vital funding is injected into the beef sector before the end of the year,” he said.

It is expected that the 2016 budget of €52m for the programme will be ‘fully consumed’ by year end.

The Genomics Programme  forms a part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. It involves funding of €300m over the six year programme.

Its aim is to address weaknesses in the maternal genetics of the Irish suckler herd, make a positive contribution to farmer profitability and reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of Ireland’s beef production.

As part of the programme, this year farmers had to fulfil data notification and genomic testing requirements, as well as attending a training course and completing a carbon navigator.

The deadline for farmers to submit a completed carbon navigator was extended by one month to November 30 by the Minister this year.

This was to enable all participants to complete the navigators so that payment can issue to them in December, subject to all other requirements [of the programme] having been met.12

Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture confirmed that approximately 5,700 farmers have withdrawn from the programme.

Just under 30,000 farmers joined the Genomics programme by the June 5, 2015 closing date and to date, 24,000 farmers have received approximately €44m in respect of their 2015 payment with the Department finalising the last remaining 2015 query cases in advance of the 2016 payments.