The deadline for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme has been extended from Friday, May 29, to Friday, June 5.

The move comes after figures revealed that less than half of the targeted 35,000 suckler farmers had applied to the Beef Data and Genomics Programme.

Some €300m has been provided for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme over the lifetime of the Rural Development Programme.

Participants in the programme will receive a payment of €142.50/ha for the first 6.66 payable hectares under the scheme, and €120 per payable hectare after that.

Minister Coveney said, when announcing the extension of the scheme, that he wanted to give as many farmers as possible the opportunity to apply for this excellent scheme.

The Minister also underlined the flexibility available to BDGP applicants who dispose of some or all of their land before the termination of the six year contract term.

“Firstly it is the case that the vast majority of farmers have significantly more land than they need to attract the full payment under the programme, and therefore no problem should arise from the sale or lease of some of their land in such circumstances.

“Subject to normal terms and conditions, where a farmer disposes of land, whether by sale, lease, gift or inheritance, the transferee may take on the obligations of the transferor under the programme. Alternatively these obligations may expire, with no clawback of the funding received up to that point.

“The commitments will not of course be considered to have expired where the participant retains sufficient land to fulfil his obligations under the programme.”