The figures are in: 18,500 farmers apply for BEEP scheme

Exactly 18,593 farmers have applied for the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed to AgriLand.

Of that figure, 10,410 were made online, while a further 8,183 were paper applications sent via An Post.

There had been much speculation in the past week as to what the precise figures were, with the scheme closing for applications last Friday (February 22).

The eligible applicants will now have between March 8 and November 1 to submit weight data from unweaned calves and their dams to the department. The scheme offers €40/cow-calf pairing for farmers who submit the data.

Despite a number of calls from farm organisations to extend or reopen the application process – with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), among others, saying that the application period was too short – AgriLand understands that Minister Michael Creed has no plans to do that at this time.

Angus Woods, the IFA’s national livestock chairman, had said that the time frame for applying was “far too short” and did not give farmers enough time to apply.

Minister Creed needs to ensure that the BEEP scheme is a strong success and he must extend the application period to give every farmer the opportunity to apply.

According to IFA figures – not yet confirmed by the department – the total number of animals involved in the scheme could be over 400,000.

For the full set of the department’s terms and conditions for the BEEP scheme, click here.