Draft scheme put forward to utilise €100 million beef fund

A scheme to utilise the €100 million beef fund has been put forward in draft form by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for consultation with farm organisations.

The scheme, entitled the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), will provide payment rates of €100/head for beef finishers and €40/head for suckler farmers.

Finishers can apply for a maximum of 100 animals per applicant; while the max-out limit for sucklers will be 40 animals.

The above proposed draft figures were put forward for the consultation process with farm groups today, Thursday, July 11.

Dairy herds will not be eligible; while dealer or agent herds are also deemed ineligible.

To be eligible, applicants must be in either an environmental scheme of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance scheme.

It is understood that the Department of Agriculture is not proposing a herd cut for eligibility; the focus will be on the restructuring element of the regulation.

Applicants will be required to reduce levels of bovine livestock manure nitrogen per farm by 5%.

This will be measured by the difference between a reference period and a target period, in a 12-month time-frame.

Beef fund

Last May, the European Commission announced that it would fund a €50 million support to Ireland to provide “exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef and veal sector” following on from months of market disturbance – particularly in the face of heightened Brexit uncertainty.

In addition, the Irish Government committed to footing an additional €50 million bringing the total amount to €100 million.