Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has today (Friday, March 19) advised farmers and advisors that the facility to select the later 12-month reduction period for the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme is now available on agfood.ie.
Farmers and advisors are reminded that the reference period of July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, remains the same and that participants must still deliver the 5% reduction amount.
The new reduction period will only apply to those farmers who opt to apply for the change. Those farmers currently on track to meet the 5% nitrogen reduction targets can use the original reference period ending June 30.
‘Farmers need to take a proactive approach to avoid facing penalties’
“Changing the BEAM reference period [was] a key priority of mine when I came to office as I knew that a lot of farmers were in danger of missing the initial reference period,” the minister said.
“I succeeded in getting consent from the European Commission to facilitate the changing of the reference period and I am now urging farmers to use this maximum flexibility to do all they can to meet the requirements of the scheme.
Farmers need to take a proactive approach to avoid facing penalties.
“My department will continue to engage with farmers to inform them of their most up-to-date figures in order to inform them of their situation.”
Continue to receive monthly letters relating to their progress
Minister McConalogue reminded farmers that the department’s BEAM Bovine Nitrates Calculator is available on agfood.ie and is being updated monthly.
He encouraged participants to utilise the tools available, including the monthly letter to each BEAM participant outlining their individual progress to date on achieving the 5% reduction and to engage with their advisor.
If after June 30, 2021, the department identifies that participants who selected the later reduction period had met the 5% reduction during the existing reduction period, the department will advise participants and allow them to withdraw from the later reduction period.