IFA urging farmers to apply for Beef Finishers Payment ‘as soon as possible’

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is urging farmers to apply for the Beef Finishers Payment (BFP) “as soon as possible”.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Dara Calleary has announced the opening of the BFP today (Wednesday, August 19).

The scheme is a once-off, exchequer-funded grant aid scheme under the Covid-19 State Aid Temporary Framework with funding totaling €50 million.

Also Read: Beef Finishers Payment open for applications today

IFA National Livestock chairman Brendan Golden is encouraging farmers to apply for the payment “without delay”.

“It’s crucial that the money gets out to farmers as soon as possible and that the full €50 million is spent,” Golden said.

“There should be a provision to increase the payment per animal if there is any underspend or to [include] exported animals [which are currently excluded]. We cannot leave any of the money behind.”

He added that the payment will be a “significant boost for the autumn cattle trade”.

‘Provide support for beef finishing farms’

According to Minister Calleary, the objective of the BFP is to “provide support for beef finishing farms in Ireland which have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The minister commented: “This support aims to provide a valuable income support and mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for those farmers who finished cattle during the period from February 1 to June 12, 2020.

Beef farming is an important economic activity, with a significant multiplier effect in local rural communities, and thus is more important than ever in sustaining these communities.

“This scheme has been designed to make the application process as user-friendly and accessible as possible for farmers and I urge any farmer who is eligible for a payment to apply without delay.”

Details Of Payment

The details of the BFP were announced last Wednesday, August 5.

An estimated 42,000 farmers are eligible to apply.

This projection is based on the number of cattle sent for slaughter in the period from Saturday, February 1, to Friday, June 12, 2020 – subject to a limit of 100 animals per herd.

Based on estimates of eligible animals, a rate in the region of €100 per animal will be payable.

Applications must be made online and the application window will remain open until Wednesday, September 9. Payments will be made in November.