File picture: BEEP-S helps to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd
Over 570 Kilkenny farmers have shared €1,366,290 under a major efficiency programme, according to local TD John Paul Phelan.
The 572 Kilkenny herd payments are among more than 2,400 confirmed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue under the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme - Suckler (BEEP-S). In total, some €40.4 million has commenced issuing to farmers around the country.
“I am delighted to confirm that payments have now commenced under BEEP-S, building on the range of support schemes available for beef farmers and that there will be no need for a linear cut to the payment rates," said Deputy Phelan.
“The BEEP-S helps to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through 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 programme targeted the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves, measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow's live weight. In recognition of the important role of animal health and welfare issues, participants were also encouraged to implement a number of optional health and welfare measures.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said payments will continue in the coming weeks across a number of the schemes implemented by his Department.
"The processing of such payments remains a key priority for my Department," he said.
In November, €46.6m payments commenced under the new Beef Finisher Payments, and 2020 payments under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme are also scheduled to commence shortly.
“I am really happy to be able to provide payments under another important scheme for our beef and suckler sectors. We need to be able to support these important sectors as they provide huge benefits to the national and regional economies while also driving sustainable beef production,” the Minister concluded.