IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden has called on the Minister for Agriculture to provide farmers with a grace period to meet the female replacement 50% requirement for 4- or 5-star female animals on the holding by next Sat, Oct 31st to reflect the disruption caused by Covid-19 controls in the marts.
He said the majority of farmers have met their requirements, but some still have to buy 4- or 5-star female animals to meet the criteria.
“This has been severely disrupted with the move to Level 5 controls and the difficulties experienced by some marts in holding sales. Due to poor broadband services in areas, some farmers have been unable to participate in sales,” he said.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said the provision of a grace period to facilitate farmers in sourcing these animals must be provided.
Farmers must have 50% of the reference number of animals for their herd meeting the 4- or 5-star requirement of females that are at least 16 months of age on the date and have been born in or after 2013.
In relation to BEEP-S, Brendan Golden said the key date is November 1st. Applicants must have the weighing component and the faecal egg count, if chosen, completed by this date.
IFA has called for flexibility from the Department on both these dates given the disruption caused by the COVID-19 controls and the concerns of some farmers about attending marts or having service providers on their farms.
“It’s important payments are issued on time to all those meeting the requirements, but for farmers who are unable to do so, the Department must provide a period of grace taking into account the unique situation that farmers have had to deal with this year,” he said.