The President of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) Colm O’Donnell has welcomed the €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) funding.He has also emphatically stated “that the success and full drawdown of the money will be dependent on flexibilities and the ability to tweak the scheme to ensure no money is left unspent as as a result of conditionality attached to the scheme”.
Of particular concern to the INHFA continued O Donnell when the Minister engaged with stakeholders, “was that on farms practising an extensive grazing system where stocking rates were complying with terms and conditions of existing environmental schemes, exemptions and derogation’s needed to be considered. This facility is now part of the scheme. Provision must also be made to give a top up payment on the first 10 cows to ensure no money is left behind “.
Concluding, the farm leader stated “with the BEAM scheme opening from Monday the 19th of August and closing on the 8th of September it is advisable for suckler farmers to make the online application on time in conjunction with their Farm Advisor and also make an application to the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise for a derogation prior to the 30th of September.
Derogation’s will be adjudicated on a case by case basis and will ultimately decide whether farmers with extensive suckler system’s can avail of a fair share of the fund without breaching DAFM rules currently in place for existing schemes”.