In the past two weeks, there have been many positive signals from beef processors about extra money which may be made available to farmers for beef cattle, through changes in bonus payments.

While the Quality Price System (QPS) bonus has been in place since 2009, changes are being made by processors to other beef bonuses that offer farmers an opportunity to secure more money per/kg for the beef they produce.

On Friday, January 7, Certified Irish Angus announced that it is offering a bonus of 30c/kg for Angus animals slaughtered between March 14 and May 16, 2022.

These animals must be pre-booked before February 28, 2022.

As well as this, last Friday, January 14, the well-known beef processor ABP announced it is set to offer a 20c/kg ‘Sustainability Bonus’ for all farmers who sign up for its new Advantage Beef Programme.

All cattle born on, or after, January 1, 2021, will be eligible for ABP’s additional 20c/kg bonus – if the farmer chooses to apply for the programme and the cattle meets the programme’s criteria.

Programme entrants with young bulls (U16 months) will secure the bonus from February/March onwards as eligible heifers and steers will also secure the ABP bonus as they become factory fit.

Also of note is the 10c/kg carcass bonus currently available for cows heifers and steers with a carcass weight of between 300-400kg and for bulls with a carcass weight of between 320kg and 400kg at Foyle Meats, Co. Donegal.

Angus and Hereford breed bonuses are also in place for in-spec heifers and steers in most, if not all, factories with up to 25c/kg available for Angus and 10-15c/kg available for Herefords.

Conversations with beef industry stakeholders would indicate that further strength will be seen in the Hereford breed bonus this year and farmers could see a higher breed bonus paid to them for supplying Hereford cattle.

Stay tuned to Agriland for further updates on cattle prices and factory bonuses.