The closing date for the submission of payments claims relating to the Dairy Beef Calf Programme is looming, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has warned.
Urging farmers to get payment claims in before the closing date of Monday, April 26, the association highlighted that applications can be made online at agfood.ie
The funding for this year is €5 million and expected payment is €20 per head, according to ICMSA Livestock Committee chairman Des Morrison.
Male dairy calves and both male and female dairy beef calves will be eligible for the scheme and applicants can receive payment on a maximum of 20 calves.
To be eligible, calves must be 12 weeks-of-age and on the holding at least 10 days prior to weighing.
Commenting, Morrison noted that it is a pilot scheme and represents the first step towards better dairy/beef integration that the ICMSA has been calling for:
“Knowing that this is a busy time of year for farmers, we’d urge farmers to apply and engage with this scheme.
“Moving forward, we hope that this scheme will develop into a more comprehensive programme that will help towards the better integration of the dairy and beef sectors that we’re positive will benefit both.
The chairman confirmed that the ICMSA will be lobbying for “better payments per head” as the scheme goes forward and that will require “healthy participation and good numbers of interested farmers from day one”.
“The ICMSA is convinced that dairy-beef integration is vital for the whole industry going forward,” Morrison stressed.
“Given that approximately 60% of beef produced originates from the dairy herd, this scheme should have a positive impact on the quality of livestock coming from the dairy herd and thus, the overall viability of the beef sector.
“Improving calf quality will be key to developing a viable outlet for non-replacement calves and we think that the Dairy Beef Calf Scheme can play an important role in this regard,” Morrison concluded.