The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has revealed details of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding allocations for agricultural schemes at a special conference at government buildings today (Wednesday, October 20).

In this example, we take a farmer with 20 suckler cows, who was eligible for the previous Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP).

Previously, a farmer with 20 suckler cows in the last BDGP was receiving €90/cow on the first 10 cows, and €80 on all cows thereafter (the second 10 cows in this case).

This farmer, under the new BDGP or Suckler Cow Carbon Efficiency Scheme (the scheme has yet to be given an official name) will now receive €150 on their first 10 cows and €120 thereafter (the second 10 cows in this case).

So (stay with me), assuming this 20-cow suckler farmer was receiving €1,700 in their old BDGP payment, they will now be eligible for a payment of €2,700 – an extra €1,000.

Despite concerns that the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP-S) – the scheme where you weigh the cow and calf – payment would be rolled into this scheme, Agriland understands this payment will be kept separate and will continue into the future.

The outgoing BDGP was set up to cater for approximately 400,000 cows and the ‘new BDGP’ (Suckler Cow Carbon Efficiency Scheme) is designed to cater for approximately 400,000 suckler cows also.

There will be no upper limit on the number of suckler cows a farmer can enter for this new scheme, however a reference year will be chosen.

Agriland understands the reference year has yet to be identified for the number of suckler cows in a farmer’s herd.

The BEEP-S scheme will continue for 2022. As it is exchequer funded, it rolls over on an annual basis. There has been no decision made past 2022 on the scheme, but its position in the suckler sector appears steady.

So, this 20-cow suckler farmer who completed all actions of the BEEP-S scheme was receiving €90 for the first 10 suckler cow/calf pairs/herd, and €80/pair thereafter (subject to an overall maximum of 100 pairs/herd) will be receiving the same amount (€1,700) under the new proposed measures.

Finally, this suckler farmer who had been in the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environmental Scheme (GLAS) and was maxing out the scheme at €5,000/year, now looks set to be able to avail of a new agri-environmental scheme which will look similar to GLAS but can be maxed out at approximately €7,000/year under Tier 1.

An additional €3,000 will be available for farmers to draw down under Tier 2, for farmers in EIP regions or where any community-type efforts such as Hen Harrier schemes are in place – bringing their payment under the eco-scheme section to €10,000.

A suite of other measures are available for farmers under Pillar II of the CAP and farmers will be affected differently from convergence and other changes in Pillar I of the CAP.

Stay tuned to Agriland for further updates on the CAP funding allocations.