Some participants in both strands of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) have yet to complete their carbon navigator requirements ahead of 2017 payments beginning to issue next month.

In a recent parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed that 24,597 participants have thus far completed their carbon navigator.

There are currently 25,340 participants in the first and second strand of the BDGP. This means that 743 carbon navigators have yet to be submitted.

Initially, carbon navigators must be submitted by a BDGP participant through an approved advisor – the cost of which is covered by the department.

There is also a number of BDGP I participants who still have to submit their carbon navigator updates. This update is required for full payment to issue to participants in the coming weeks.

The BDGP provides for six years of payments to farmers for completion of actions which deliver accelerated genetic improvement in the Irish national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability, Minister Creed explained.

The carbon navigator quantifies the environmental gains that can be made on each applicant’s farm by setting targets in key areas, such as grassland management, the department explained.

A target of October 31 was set as the proposed deadline for BDGP participants to complete their carbon navigator requirements. But the department has continued to accept submissions following that date.

Figures show that BDGP payments in 2016 totalled almost €42.4 million. The department has confirmed that payments for 2017 for participants in BDGP I and BDGP II will commence in December.