€100 million BEAM scheme to open next week

The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) will open for applications from this Monday, August 19, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced.

BEAM will open for applications from August 19 through to September 8, inclusive.

Applications will be accepted online through AgFood.ie. According to the Department of Agriculture, applications will only be accepted online, “to ensure that payments are made as promptly as possible”.

Under the scheme, aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd.

Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd.

Dairy herds are not eligible for the measure, with the exception of dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows, while animals controlled by slaughtering establishments, and dealer/agent herds, are not eligible for this financial aid.

In the event BEAM is oversubscribed, payment rates may be subject to minor revision.

Minister Creed commented on the measure, stating: “This scheme has been designed to make the application process as user-friendly and accessible as possible for farmers.

“The BEAM, coupled with the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP), introduced earlier this year, provides an injection of up to €120 million in aid for the beef sector in 2019.”

BEAM is designed to meet the requirements set out by the European Commission, including granting support to farmers engaging in actions which enhance their long-term resilience and sustainability, according to the department.

A demand-led, voluntary scheme, farmers who meet the initial eligibility criteria for the measure will then have to commit to meeting the following conditions in order to qualify for aid.

To be fully eligible, each participant must:
  • Be a member of or commit to joining the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) or a Department of Agriculture environmental scheme; and
  • Reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen (total figure) per herd by 5% for a target period – July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 – compared to a reference period of July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.

Concluding, the minister said: “I would encourage beef farmers to submit an application to the BEAM when it opens on Monday.

“I am keenly aware that farmers are dealing with very challenging market circumstances at present. This scheme will provide some additional income support at a very critical time.”

For those interested further information on the measure is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

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