Payments of just over €31 million have commenced being paid to farmers under the 2021 Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced.

These payments will be issued to BDGP I and II participants.

Commenting, Minister McConalogue said the programme has proven itself to be a “hugely successful scheme” that supports beef farmer incomes and drives greater levels of efficiency in our “world-class suckler herd”.

He explained that a one-year transitional BDGP for 2021 saw 17,700 of the original scheme’s participants opt to continue in the scheme for 2021 while the second tranche of the original BDGP II, has 1,450 participants and will end in 2022.

“In the past week alone, we have issued over €70 million to our beef and suckler farmers through our schemes.

“The payments under the BDGP are in addition to the €42 million that issued last week under the 2021 Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme Sucklers (BEEP-S) and dairy programmes to over 30,000 participants.”

Further beef payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as more farmers verify their compliance with the 2021 scheme requirements, he confirmed.

The minister urged participating farmers to return all surveys and genotyping samples and/or complete the carbon navigator update as soon as possible to facilitate payment.

“Approval has been received for the continuity of many farm schemes in 2022, including the BDGP. In that context, my department, since November 18 has been accepting applications from participants in the 2021 transitional scheme to participate in a further one-year extension of the BDGP for 2022.

“I am looking forward to building on the gains made under the BDGP through the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Scheme under the next Common Agricultural Policy, which will see participants earn €150/cow on the first 10 cows which is up from €90/cow on the first 10 cows under the BDGP.”

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on December 20.