Video: Beef Plan protestors give views on limited dairy eligibility in BEAM

The details on the finalised Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) were announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today, Monday, July 29.

In light of the Beef Plan Movement beginning its nationwide protest this morning, AgriLand travelled to a beef processing factory near Kilbeggan to see how the protestors felt about smaller dairy farmers gaining access to this exceptional aid.

Most of the farmers agreed it was a fair move by the Government; however, some were more unsure than others.

Dairy herds are not eligible for the measure, with the exception of dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows.

According to the department, smaller dairy farms typically have a mixed farming enterprise, with a lower than average dairy farm income, and a beef enterprise accounting for a higher proportion of total farm income.

One farmer warned: “I don’t think they should be turning farmers against farmers realistically. It’s just the dairy herd is performing better at the moment and it’s hard to make a living in sucklers and that’s where the friction is coming together.”

The farmer noted he normally sells his weanling bulls at nine months-of-age and 400kg weight.

Normally, they would make about €1,100. This year it was €800 to €850 and I had to start working two weeks ago. I can’t pay the bills. It’s just not in it like.

Another farmer believed the ruling is fair to include smaller dairy farmers but added: “I think the system is very flawed. I had to sell 80 cattle last November. I’m not part of Bord Bia so I’m not getting any money.”

He explained that he would usually send these cattle to the factory but last year sold them privately to another farmer.

Finally, the last two farmers interviewed both agreed that the beef farmer should be “looked after first” with one of them mentioning that farmers who bought weanlings and sold cattle as stores will not be compensated “but lost €150/head”.