Some 16,700 farmers have applied for the rollover year of BDGP, latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show.
There are approximately 21,000 farmers eligible to apply for this year’s scheme so that means 80% of eligible farmers have opted in for the extra year.
The 2021 scheme is open to anybody who fulfilled the requirements of the 2020 scheme.
The closing date for applications is Friday 15 January
Conditions for the 2021 scheme are the same as the 2020 requirements.
There was some concern that the response rate to the text message sent out by the Department has been slow but a Department spokesperson confirmed they have seen a huge number of applications in the last few days.
The average payment made to farms in 2020 was over €1,700 and it forms an important part of suckler farm income. The closing date for applications is Friday 15 January.
Applications can be made via the AgFood.ie website or an adviser can apply on your behalf.
Meanwhile, there are currently 14,072 BEAM participants meeting the 5% target with a further 967 having a nitrogen reduction of between 4% and 5%.
This means that there are 19,373 farmers, or 58% of all those who received money from the scheme, who currently fall outside the 5% reduction requirement.
With just five months left before the nitrogen reduction deadline of 30 June 2021 there is a growing concern that farmers won’t be able to meet it and will have to pay back the money.
Calls have been made for the Department to look at the situation to see if some resolution can be found for these farmers.
The ICSA has called for the 5% reduction element to be scrapped.