€100 million fund ‘unlikely to be enough’ – Woods
Farmers are being urged to apply for the €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) presidential candidate Angus Woods.
However, Woods – the current national livestock chairperson for the IFA – argued that the fund is “unlikely to be enough”.
The scheme officially opened for applications today, Monday, August 19, and will close on Sunday, September 8, inclusive of those dates.
It’s essential that all eligible farmers now get their applications in and that all of the money is drawn down and paid out to farmers without delay, as there is real financial need among livestock farmers because of the crisis in the sector.
Woods added: “This is a crisis about livestock prices and income for farmers. Given the financial pressures livestock farmers are under, and the dysfunction in beef markets in Ireland and across Europe, this €100 million fund is unlikely to be enough.”
According to Woods, the IFA would be looking for “further emergency supports for farmers”.
“But livestock farmers need to get their applications in for this €100 million fund now, before the scheme closes on September 8,” he stressed.
The department has published the conditions for the scheme which sets out the details of how €100 per finished animal and €40 per suckler cow can be drawn down by farmers. Some of the conditions are overly restrictive.
Woods called on Minister Michael Creed to “ensure that the €100 million is paid out in full”.
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. In the event BEAM is oversubscribed, payment rates may be subject to minor revisions.