The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) are advising all suckler cow farmers to join the new BEEP 2 (S) scheme before the closing date of the 15th of May.
The INHFA President Colm O’Donnell pointed out that the new scheme for suckler cows is by far the simplest and most straightforward intervention coming from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to date. This scheme has emerged as a result of an acknowledgement by the newly formed Beef Market Taskforce of the need for additional direct support for sucklers.
“The INHFA played a central role in highlighting the need for a more targeted direct support for smaller suckler farms” stated O’Donnell.
He continued by saying ” that the new suckler scheme has a front loaded payment on the first 10 cows whereby a participant can draw down €900 or €90 per cow/calf. Included in the make-up of the scheme are weighing, welfare measures and supplementary meal feeding pre and post weaning”.
The INHFA have written to Teagasc and the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) to assist clients in making the very simple on line application for the new suckler scheme. They have asked both institutions to promote the uptake among suckler farmers who previously haven’t participated in any other schemes.
“This pilot scheme coming from the DAFM has the potential to form the basis for a decent support mechanism for primary suckler farmers in the next round of CAP. With €35 million made available for 2020, it would be important that sufficient numbers of farmers apply to ensure full uptake of the funding for this year as the Beef Data and Genomics programme (BDGP) is due to finish in 2020. Further merging and development of a support structure for sucklers might finally become a reality” stated O’Donnell.
Concluding, the farm leader said ” that it is a red line issue for the INHFA that any unused funding in the Rural Development Programme (RDP) already pledged to suckler cows, like for example the unused BEAM money must be channelled directly to support primary suckler cow farmers. This new BEEP 2 (S) is the only acceptable avenue to do this in these unprecedented times”.