‘Essential that all eligible farmers apply for BEAM’ – IFA

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is calling on all eligible farmers to apply for the €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme, the opening date for which was officially confirmed as next Monday by Minister Michael Creed.

Angus Woods, the association’s national livestock chairman, stressed the importance that all of the €100 million fund be paid out to farmers, and that this be achieved quickly.

“It’s essential that all eligible farmers apply. All of the money must be drawn down and paid out to farmers as soon as possible, as they are in real financial need because of the crisis in the sector,” he highlighted.

The BEAM scheme will open for applications this coming Monday, August 19, and close on September 8, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced today, Thursday, August 15 (applications will be accepted up to and including the closing date).

Farmers should apply “despite some of the restrictive conditions imposed by Minister Creed and the European Commission”, said Woods.

The IFA is highlighting that, based on data from Minister Creed’s department, some 37,000 beef finishers and 55,000 suckler farmers are eligible for the scheme.

Online payments

Minister Creed also confirmed today that applications would only be accepted online, “to ensure that payments are made as promptly as possible”.

Applications will be accepted online through Agfood.ie.

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.