‘Changes needed’ to BEAM for full draw-down of funding – IFA

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed “needs to make changes” to the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme in order to allow all eligible farmers apply and draw down the full €100 million fund, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Making the calls, IFA president Joe Healy said that the conditions are too restrictive and preventing farmers from applying.

He added: “The minister needs to reassess the following restrictions, including: the 5% reduction in organic nitrogen; the 100-head and 40-head suckler limits; restriction on dairy farmers with a beef enterprise; partnerships and farmers who exported finished cattle to Northern Ireland.”

Healy said that the minister “cannot let a situation develop” where any of this money is left behind, considering the severe income crisis in the livestock sector.

Over 70,000 farmers are eligible to apply for the payment of €100 per finished animal and €40 per suckler cow.

Also commenting, IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said any farmers who sold finished cattle in the marts also needed to make a BEAM application without delay.

These farmers are eligible for payment and if they are encountering any difficulty, they should seek help or revert to the appeal process on the online application, but make sure to lodge an application.

The chairman said the key issue is for farmers to make an application before the new deadline date of Sunday, September 15.