McConalogue to launch new BEEP-S in ‘next couple of weeks’

A new €40 million Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Suckler (BEEP-S) scheme is to open in the “next couple of weeks”, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

For farmers with autumn-born calves, the minister advised to weigh such animals coming near weaning and make a note of dates and weights.

Speaking at the Donegal Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) annual general meeting (AGM) last night (Tuesday, February 16), the minister highlighted the importance of the beef and suckler sectors, stressing his commitment to these enterprises.

I can confirm tonight and that we are putting the finishing touches to the new €40 million BEEP-S scheme and that my department will be launching this in the next couple of weeks.

“I thank my cabinet colleague Michael McGrath in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for working closely to bring this crucial scheme this far,” Minister McConalogue added.

The minister also pointed to other supports for beef and suckler farmers that are allocated for under Budget 2021, including: €6 million for marketing and branding a suckler-based initiative; and €85 million to “support sustainable beef farming” – which includes €40 million for the roll-over of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the €40 million allocation for BEEP-S.

“I know some suckler farmers who produce autumn-born animals who have expressed concern about the reopening of BEEP-S,” he said.

My advice for those farmers is to weigh those animals coming near weaning and make a note of the date and the weights. They can be inputted when the scheme officially opens.

“This government and my department back the long-term benefit of supporting a sustainable beef sector,” the minister concluded.