Over 27,000 farmers have applied to the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, which closed last Friday (June 5).

However, farmers have expressed concern that due to the fact that the scheme is for six years, there might be a risk of clawback of monies, Teagasc says.

Teagasc says that if you are having second thoughts after applying to the programme and are considering pulling out you can do so if you withdraw:

  • Before payment is issued at the end of the year.
  • Or before you get notification of an inspection.

Farmers who apply to the programme but retire before the end of the six-year period will not be penalised on payments made up to that point, IFA National Livestock Committee Member Brendan Golden says.

The scheme came in for much criticism from both farmers and farm organisations, who have said that the scheme is unworkable and over complicated.

They have also expressed their concern that the six-year commitment is too much.

Some €300m has been provided for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme over the lifetime of the Rural Development Programme.

Participants in the genomics programme will receive a payment of €142.50/ha for the first 6.66 payable hectares under the scheme, and €120 per payable hectare after that.

The number of applicants to the programme is significantly less than the 35,000 farmers the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, had hoped would enter the scheme.

The Minister extended the application deadline by one week to give more farmers time to join the scheme.