Will the BEAM scheme suit extensive suckler farmers?

The success and full drawdown of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) funding “will be dependent on flexibilities and the ability to tweak the scheme to ensure no money is left unspent”.

This is according to the president of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) Colm O’Donnell who has welcomed the opening of the €100 million market distortion fund.

O’Donnell stressed that the INHFA was concerned that “on farms practising an extensive grazing system where stocking rates were complying with terms and conditions of existing environmental schemes; exemptions and derogations needed to be considered.

This facility is now part of the scheme. Provision must also be made to give a top up payment on the first 10 cows to ensure no money is left behind.

“An application for a derogation should be made to the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise prior to September 30,” he added.

The INHFA president said: “Derogation will be adjudicated on a case by case basis and will ultimately decide whether farmers with extensive suckler system’s can avail of a fair share of the fund without breaching department rules currently in place for existing schemes”.

Concluding, the farm leader stated: “With the BEAM scheme opening from today, Monday, August 19, and closing on September 8, it is advisable for suckler farmers to make the online application on time in conjunction with their farm advisor.