IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said following a request from the IFA, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has made a necessary extension to the closing date for the BEAM scheme, to Sunday September 15th.
He said this is an important move as it gives extra time for farmers to apply for the scheme, which is vital to livestock farmers in the current income crisis.
Angus Woods encouraged all eligible farmers to make their application as soon as possible. He said at the request of IFA, the Department of Agriculture has also opened a number of online clinics to assist farmers with their applications. IFA local offices around the country are available to assist farmers with the application.
The IFA Livestock leader said to date some 21,500 farmers have applied for the scheme, but there are over 70,000 farmers eligible to apply for the payment of €100 per finished animal and €40 per suckler cow.
Angus Woods said farmers are finding some difficulties with parts of the application and IFA has put a number of questions to the DAFM for clarification. He said some of the conditionality and conditions of the scheme need to be reassessed by the Minister, including around the 5% reduction in organic Nitrogen; the €100 head and €40 head limits; restriction on dairy farmers with a beef enterprise; and partnerships.
Angus Woods said any farmers who sold finished cattle in the marts also needed to make an application without delay. These farmers are eligible for payment and if they are encountering any difficulty, they should seek help or revert to the appeal process on the online application, but make sure to lodge an application.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said the key issue is for farmers to make an application before the new deadline date of Sun, September 15th.