Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue announced on Wednesday that payments worth €42m had begun this week to over 30,000 farmers participating in the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP-S) and the Dairy Calf Beef Programme.
The minister said: “The BEEP-S scheme helps to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through an improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data collected, with a view to supporting the adoption of best practice and more informed decision-making at farm level.
“The dairy-beef scheme helps to increase the economic and environmental efficiency of beef from the dairy herd, and to facilitate further integration of the dairy and beef sectors by providing support for farmers who are rearing progeny from the dairy herd.”
Mandatory weighing will reap a return of €40/€50 for each weight recorded for calves born between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021
There is a potential payment of €90 for the first 10 cow-calf pairs in the herd and up to €80/pair thereafter up to a maximum of 100 head.
Mandatory weighing will reap a return of €40/€50 for each weight recorded for calves born between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
The option of meal feeding or vaccinating calves commanded a payment of €30 per calf, with the final €10 payment triggered through faecal egg testing of suckler cows for liver and rumen fluke.
The core action for the dairy-beef scheme was the weighing of eligible calves, for which there was a payment of €20 per calf up to a maximum of 20 calves or a maximum payment per herd of €400.
Eligible calves were those born on or after 1 January 2021, a male calf of a dairy breed, and/or a male or female calf sired by a beef breed sire born to a dairy breed dam.
Calves must have been at least 12 weeks of age at the time of weighing, in ownership of the applicant and registered on the holding on which weighing takes place for a minimum of 10 days prior to weighing to be deemed eligible.
I am acutely aware of the importance of payments under these schemes for the beef sector
The minister also reiterated his Department’s commitment to continuing both schemes in 2022.
“I am acutely aware of the importance of payments under these schemes for the beef sector and the processing of such payments at the earliest possible opportunity remains a key priority for my Department.
“I have secured these critical payments for next year as part of Budget 2022 and it underlines my ongoing commitment to the beef and suckler sectors,” he said.
There was some confusion experienced on Wednesday when farmers participating in the dairy beef scheme received a text stating that the “dairy beef remittance slip issued is incorrect, new remittance slip to issue in the coming week”.
The Department quickly followed up to state that farmers received the correct level of payment, that the error is in relation to the payslip only and that correct payment slips will now be issued.
The announcement of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme payments was preceded by another announcement by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on Tuesday that GLAS-Plus advance payments would also be issued this week.
I am very pleased that GLAS-Plus payments of a further €3.5m are issuing this week
The payments under the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) Plus programme are worth €3.5m in total. Farmers participating in the scheme are eligible for a top-up payment of up to €2,000 for delivering a particularly high level of environmental commitment.
The minister said: “I am very pleased that GLAS-Plus payments of a further €3.5m are issuing this week.
This brings to over €143m the amount of GLAS payments issued in respect of 2021 advance payments to-date, while total GLAS payments since the commencement of the scheme are over €1.3bn.”
This includes 39,667 participants who have received 2021 advance payments worth €138m, up to the week ending 3 December 2021.
This represents 86% of participants and the Department advises that regular pay runs will continue to issue payments as GLAS contracts are cleared for payment.
The Department is advising participants with outstanding documentation, including LESS or Rare Breed forms, or those who have been contacted by the Department with queries in relation to their GLAS participation or BPS application, to respond as soon as possible in order to facilitate the early issue of payments.
The GLAS helpdesk can be contacted at 053-916 3425. Farmers can also submit any queries by email to GLAS@agriculture.gov.ie .
Participants in GLAS who have not opted to extend GLAS contract to the end of 2022 but who wish to do so need to be aware that this must be completed before 10 December 2021 via the agfood.ie portal.
The Department has confirmed the vast majority of participants have already applied and highlighted that those who fail to confirm participation for 2022 will no longer be able to continue in the scheme.
Balancing payments worth over €38 or 15% of a farmers annual payment under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) began on Monday.
The balancing payments bring the total payments under the 2021 ANC to €239m paid to 95,000 farmers.
I have also secured €250m for the ANC scheme next year as part of Budget 2022
In announcing the paymets, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “The ANC scheme is a crucial support for farm families throughout the country. The allocation of €250m to the ANC scheme in 2021 reflects the Government’s commitment to supporting farmers’ incomes.
“I have also secured €250m for the ANC scheme next year as part of Budget 2022, which guarantees payments for eligible farmers.”
There are expected to be close to 5,000 more participants who will receive payments in 2021, with payment runs taking place weekly.
The main reason for payments being delayed to this cohort of farmers continues to be farmers failing to meet the required stocking rate requirements necessary to trigger payments.
Any farmer with outstanding queries from the Department under the ANC are also encouraged to get in contact with the Department as soon as possible in order to facilitate the issuing of payments as soon as possible.