Over 25% of Genomics farmers have yet to complete a carbon navigator

A total of 24,500 farmers are taking part in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and to date 18,134 of these farmers have completed a carbon navigator.

This leaves 26% of farmers yet to submit a completed carbon navigator with four weeks to go until the submission deadline.

The the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, announced the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Agriculture Spokesperson, Charlie McConalogue.

The deadline for submitting completed carbon navigators to the Department of Agriculture was extended last month until November 30.

The Minister extended the deadline ‘due to significant pressures on both farmers and advisors’.

He urged the remaining farmers that have not completed the navigator to immediately contact their advisor to arrange a meeting to complete same.

Minster Creed said that this month extension will provide all participating farmers with the opportunity to ensure compliance with this element of the scheme and thereby facilitate payment later this year.

Payments under the genomics programme are expected to commence in December and the it is expected that the 2016 budget of €52m will be ‘fully consumed’ by year end, a Department official said earlier this month.

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The Carbon Navigator is an online farm management package produced by Bord Bia and Teagasc that quantifies the environmental gains that can be made on an individual’s farm.

The first completion of the Carbon Navigator must be undertaken in conjunction with an approved advisor.

The Department will cover the cost of the approved advisor for the completion of the Carbon Navigator, while the farmer’s cost is incorporated into the annual Genomics payment.

Almost 6,000 farmers withdraw from Genomics Programme

Last month, it was revealed that approximately 5,700 farmers have withdrawn from the Beef Data and Genomics Programme.

Just under 30,000 farmers joined the Genomics programme by the June 5, 2015 closing date.

To date, 24,000 farmers have received approximately €44m in respect of their 2015 payment with the Department finalising the last remaining 2015 query cases in advance of the 2016 payments.

Last month, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, ruled out topping up the payments to farmers under the programme.