‘Regular and straightforward’ farmer updates on BEAM ‘being progressed’

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is continuing to look into the possibility of providing farmers with “regular and straightforward” updates on meeting compliance with the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme.

According to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), discussions are progressing between the associations and the department with a view to the latter issuing “up-to-date” statements for farmers regarding their progress on meeting the 5% manure nitrogen reduction, which was a condition of availing of the scheme.

Brendan Golden, the IFA’s national livestock chairperson, said: “In our first meeting with department officials a number of weeks ago on this issue, the department agreed with the principle, and to investigate the most beneficial mechanism to provide this information to farmers.

Farmers must be provided with regular and straightforward updates, setting out their position in relation to the 5% reduction and the facility to monitor in real time their reduction target.

“The department must ensure farmers have the most up-to-date information for their herd to help meet the requirements of the scheme to protect these vital payments to beef farmers,” Golden insisted.

He called on the department to make the information available “as soon as possible to avoid any market disruption or farmers inadvertently failing to comply with the requirements”.

Beef Finishers Payment

In other IFA-related news, the association’s president, Tim Cullinan, welcomed the announcement yesterday (Tuesday, November 17) that payments would commence this week under the Beef Finishers Payment.

The €50 million funding was allocated for the scheme in June to compensate beef farmers for losses arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many recipients of these payments will already have invested in replacement stock during the autumn, so the value of these payments will benefit the whole sector,” Cullinan noted.

“Not all of the money for the scheme will be allocated. Any underspend must be used to cover animals which were excluded from the scheme because they were exported,” the IFA president insisted.