Last day for weighing under BEEP scheme

Under an extension announced by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed last week to the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme, today, November 8, is the final day in which weight data can be taken for cow/calf pairings.

The original final date for this was last Friday, November 1, before it was extended by Minister Creed. Farmers will now have until 5:00pm of next Friday, November 15, to submit that data to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) to avail of a €40 payment per cow/calf pairing.

In a statement last week, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “By extending the closing dates the minister is confident that many thousands more beef farmers can comply with the conditions in time to qualify for payment by the end of December.”

Two weeks ago, the minister confirmed that around €2 million had been paid out to just over 3,000 farmers so far under the scheme.

Thus far, according to the minister, weight data on some 350,000 pairs of dams and calves have been submitted to the ICBF.

“My department will continue to pay participants as individual cases are cleared, and regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to ensure this,” the minister said, urging farmers who have been contacted by the department to respond as soon as soon as possible to facilitate payment.

Underspend

Concerns have been raised over the apparent underspend in the scheme.

John Coughlan, a candidate in this month’s Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA) presidential election, said last Friday that there was an underspend in the scheme of some €8 million (out of a total funding allocation of €20 million).

He also commented that a possible 200,000 cow/calf pairings were yet to be weighed.

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