Two schemes now open to livestock farmers will be worth an estimated €45 million to the sector, according to local Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.
Deputy Phelan welcomed Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue’s announcement of the opening for applications of the Beef Sector Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP-S) as well as the Dairy Beef Calf measure.
“Applications for the measure can be lodged through agfood.ie with the closing date on Monday 25th April. The two schemes are worth €45m to livestock farmers and are aimed at driving further efficiencies within the livestock sectors.
“These two crucial schemes will ensure that farm families involved in this sector can be rewarded for their hard work in driving important efficiency gains within our world-class beef sector.
“A key focus of this government has been support for efficient suckler and beef farming. While dairy is the main driver in large parts of this region, suckler and beef are critically important and the backbone of many rural communities. They are a key part of the foundation of our €13.5bn agri-food export sector. BEEP-S has proven to be a farmer-friendly scheme that provides important income support as well as driving further genetic improvements in the sector.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue acknowledged the strong potential for better integration of dairy and beef systems, particularly the role of dairy beef in providing a new diversification option for beef farmers:
"I am pleased to announce that the €5 million Dairy Beef measure and the €40 million BEEP-S scheme for sucklers are now open for applications for 2022. I am committed to the long-term support of sustainable beef farming supporting Ireland in our ambition to build capacity as a world leader in sustainable food systems over the next decade.”
With a budget of €5 million this year, and following from the pilot in 2021, the continued objective of this measure is to increase the economic and environmental efficiency of beef from the dairy herd, and to facilitate further the integration of the dairy and beef sectors by providing support for farmers who are rearing progeny from the dairy herd. The core action is the weighing of eligible calves for which there is a payment of €20 per calf up to a maximum of 40 calves increased from 20 in the pilot measure.
BEEP (S) has a funding provision of €40 million in 2022 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.
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