The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D., today advised farmers and advisors that the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP–S) under the new Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot for 2021 opened today, 16 March 2021. Applications for the scheme can be lodged through agfood.ie with the closing date on Monday 26 April.
BEEP (S) has a funding provision of €40 million in 2021 and targets the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves by measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow's live weight. In recognition of the crucial role of animal health and welfare in economic and environmental efficiency, applicants to the scheme can also select from a number of optional health and welfare measures including meal feeding or vaccination of weanlings and/or faecal egg testing of suckler cows.
Minister McConalogue stated, “the 2021 BEEP–S scheme builds on the success of the scheme in 2020 in which to date €40.46 million has been paid out to 24,430 participants.”
He outlined that under BEEP–S, participants may be eligible for up to €90 for the first 10 suckler cow/calf pairs per herd and up to €80 per pair thereafter subject to an overall maximum of 100 pairs per herd, if all actions under the scheme are applied for and completed in full in accordance with the scheme terms and conditions.
Minister McConalogue added, “BEEP-S is the latest in a line of support I have rolled out for our suckler and beef farmers.
“I secured €85 million in Budget 2021 for a range of measures to support sustainable suckler and beef farming. I also secured €6 million to promote our suckler beef abroad and we are working on developing a PGI status for Irish grass-fed beef. I am committed to the continued support of our suckler and beef sectors. Our farmers continue to produce a top-class product and the suckler cow helps generate balanced regional economic development.”
The application process for the scheme opened today 16 March 2021 and will remain open until Monday 26 April 2021. Minister McConalogue noted that though the scheme will be funded by the Irish exchequer, details of the scheme have been notified to the European Commission in accordance with the COVID-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
The Minister concluded by reminding farmers and advisors that “applications must be done online at agfood.ie and to ensure their application is actually submitted, rather than having a status as a “draft application” on agfood.ie”.
The full terms and conditions for this Exchequer funded scheme are available at gov.ie - Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme Sucklers (BEEP-S) as part of the Beef Sector Efficiency Programme (www.gov.ie)
Notes to Editor:
The objective of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP-S) is to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd though improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data that is collected. This will be done through the enhancement of the national herd dataset for genetic evaluations, with a view to supporting the adoption of best practice and more informed decision making at farm level. The Programme will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves through the collection of the live weights of cows and progeny in the herd of each participant; improving the welfare of suckler calves at the time of weaning; and controlling liver fluke in adult suckler cows.