The Department of Agriculture has commenced paying out some €42m to 30,000 suckler and beef farmers under the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme for Sucklers (BEEP-S) Scheme and dairy beef calf programme.
The payments, averaging approximately €1,400, will enter participating farmers’ bank accounts over the coming days.
Both schemes fall under the department’s Beef Sector Efficiency Programmes (BSEP).
Some 23,764 farmers will receive payments under the BEEP-S Scheme, totaling almost €39m.
According to the Department, the scheme 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 measures under the scheme included weight recording of the suckler cow and her calf and meal feeding before weaning.
Co Galway had the highest number of farmers participating in the BEEP-S Scheme, with the average farmer receiving €1,549.
Payments are varied across the country, with 292 participant farmers in Carlow receiving an average of €2,255 each or €658,564 in total.
A full breakdown of the participation in the scheme in each county, along with the total payments received, is available below.
The dairy beef calf programme was aimed at increasing 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 scheme’s core action involved the weighing of eligible calves for which there was a payment of €20 per calf up to a maximum of 40 calves.
Some 6,364 farmers participated in the scheme and will receive a total of €3,533,406, meaning the average farmer is to be paid out €558.
The Irish Farmers Journal previously revealed that the Dairy Beef Welfare scheme will continue in its current format (weighing of dairy beef calves) in 2023.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said the payments under the two schemes “have provided income supports to farmers while also helping to drive important efficiency gains”.
“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. We seek to issue payments in a rapid manor to as many farmers as possible and this will continue to be a key priority of mine,” he said.