Creed: BEEP will provide critical ‘injection of investment’

Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has said that the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme will “provide an injection of investment at a critical time” for farmers.

The scheme was launched today, January 30, by the minister, and will see farmers paid up to €40/cow-calf pairing for collecting weight data on suckler cows and calves, and submitting these figures to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

Minister Creed said that the scheme would be funded to the tune of €20 million for the year 2019, and is part of a €78 million Brexit package for the agri-food industry, which was announced in Budget 2019 last October.

I am very conscious that 2018 was a very difficult year for beef farmers, in terms of weather, fodder issues and market volatility. This is the sector most exposed to Brexit, given its reliance on the UK market.

“BEEP is a targeted support for suckler farmers and is specifically aimed at further improving the economic and environmental efficiency of beef production,” explained the minister at today’s launch.

“This is done by measuring the weaning efficiency of suckler cows. Participating farmers will also get detailed feedback on the performance of individual animals, and this will allow them to identify the most productive cows in their herd,” he added.

The application process for the scheme will open next week, on Monday February 4, and will close on February 22. Following that, farmers will have from March 8 to November 1 to submit the weight data they recorded, with payments being made in December.

“The BEEP is designed to provide an injection of investment at a critical time for farmers navigating the challenges ahead, while delivering in real terms on our climate objectives,” concluded the minister.