New ‘Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot’ a continuation of BEEP-S – Minister

The upcoming ‘Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot’, which has been allocated €40 million in Budget 2021, will be a continuation of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot – Sucklers (BEEP-S) scheme, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has indicated.

Speaking today (Wednesday, October 14) at a press briefing on his department’s allocation in yesterday’s budget, Minister Charlie McConalogue noted that the BEEP-S scheme (itself a revamped version of the original BEEP scheme from last year) was “very much welcomed by suckler farmers as a support”.

“It was quite accessible. I was very keen to ensure that it would continue next year, as BEEP-S was a one-year scheme,” he added.

Given the success of (BEEP-S) we certainly did prioritise funding for it to continue.

The minister also said that additional support in the beef sector will be provided through the continuation of the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP), which is also set to see funding of €40 million.

In the video below, Minister McConalogue gives an outline of the key funding allocated to his department, as well as a dairy calf-to-beef scheme that he confirmed today.

Continuing schemes

Other schemes that have been allocated funding so that they can continue include the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) and the Green, Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS).

These schemes are set to continue due to the end of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) at the end the of this year, and the gap in time before the next CAP comes into effect.

€80 million will be directed towards the continuation of TAMS, which is set to see further tranches open next year.

The extended GLAS scheme will see an ‘opt-in’ for farmers to continue along the lines of existing measures.

The €79 million that will be set aside for new pilot environmental measures – and, eventually, a larger scheme to replace GLAS – will include funding for a pilot scheme for farmers who are outside GLAS at present.

The Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme is also set to continue.

Other measures

Other measures outlined by Minister McConalogue at today’s press briefing include a €10 million allocation for the tillage sector, which will see farmers being payed for the ploughing in of straw into the ground as a carbon capture measure.

The minister also noted that the Protein Aid Scheme is set to continue.

In terms of agricultural diesel, he explained that there is no change in terms of the farmer rebate from the Carbon Tax, meaning farmers will continue to avail of the rebate, while agricultural contractors will still be faced with the tax.

On Brexit, the department has been allocated an additional €39 million compared to last year for infrastructure and staffing preparations.

In terms of the government’s general €3.4 billion fund for Brexit, Minister McConalogue noted that there isn’t specific funding allocated among departments yet, and the finer details would be worked out in due course.

The minister also expressed gratitude to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath for facilitating the continuation of Consolidation Relief and Consanguinity Relief from Stamp Duty for farmers.