With the new €40 per cow BEEP (Beef Environmental and Efficiency Pilot) scheme for sucklers open, IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods strongly encouraged suckler farmers to apply for the new scheme and draw down the €40 per cow payment. The application period runs from February 4th to February 22nd.
He said IFA fought a hard campaign in the last Budget and secured additional funding of €20m for sucklers and it is very important that farmers apply for the scheme. He said the €40 payment for sucklers is not enough and the IFA is determined to continue the campaign to get targeted payments up to €200 per cow for sucklers.
Angus Woods said the application process for the scheme is very simple and just requires farmers to sign the form and submit it to the Department of Agriculture.
Angus Woods said suckler farmers will have to weigh their cows and calves once during the year, between March 8th and November 1st 2019, and submit the data to ICBF. Payment will be made in respect of suckler calves born on the holding between July 1st 2018 and June 30th 2019.
He said the Department of Agriculture will make 400 scales available to farmers through co-op marts around the country. He said it is essential that costs to farmers for this service are kept to an absolute minimum. In addition, farmers will be able to use their own scales.
Suckler farmers do not have to be participating in the BDGP scheme to qualify for BEEP.
Angus Woods said the IFA is campaigning hard to increase the level of targeted direct payments for sucklers. He said as a very low-income vulnerable sector, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Department will have to deliver a substantial increase in direct supports to sucklers, both from national resources and CAP funding.