IFA Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has welcomed the extension of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme deadline to 5pm on Friday. He said IFA requested this extension from Minister Creed last week.
Angus Woods strongly encouraged all eligible farmers to apply for the scheme. “Any farmer attending the Ploughing Championships this week, who has not already applied, should visit the Department stand, assess the amount of money they can draw down, and make an application,” he said.
Angus Woods said IFA has pushed Minister Creed hard to allow flexibility on the restrictive conditionality applied to the scheme and he has committed to this. “He has agreed to look at increasing the payment rates for suckler cows under the scheme, and other conditionality.”
Department staff will be available to assist farmers in making their applications at the National Ploughing Championships which start tomorrow in Fenagh, Co Carlow.
“IFA has made it very clear to Minister Creed every single €uro of the €100m BEAM scheme must be drawn down and paid out to farmers. Considering the income crisis in beef, it would be a crime to allow any of this hard-won funding go back to Brussels or the exchequer.”
IFA has also asked Minister Creed to remove the restrictive conditions preventing farmers from applying. “The Minister needs to reassess the restrictions, including the 5% reduction in organic Nitrogen; the 100 head and 40 head suckler limits; restriction on dairy farmers with a beef enterprise; partnerships and farmers who exported finished cattle to Northern Ireland”.
IFA has also been in direct contact with Commissioner Hogan on these issues.