The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) is to re-open for applications next week, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has announced.

The scheme will be known as BDGP II and will be available to suckler farmers who are not already members of the current programme.

The reference year for calculating the number of eligible cows is 2014, which excludes all new entrants to suckler and beef farming since 2014.

Like the original, it will commit to six years of payments to farmers for completion of actions aimed at delivering accelerated genetic improvement in the national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability.

Minister Creed said that the scheme will be open for applications from 19 April and will close to applications on 8 May. It will run from 2017 to 2022.

There will be a small change to the timing of the training and carbon navigator requirements; they are being brought forward to year one of the scheme.

“I am anxious to ensure as many farmers as possible avail of this opportunity to join this innovative and ambitious scheme that is a world’s first in its use of technology and genomics to produce better, more environmentally friendly and sustainable beef cattle,” the minister said.

Payments to participants will be the same as BDGP I with €142.50/ha for the first 6.66 payable hectares under the scheme, and €120 per payable hectare after that, with the same timing requirements for returning of data.

This equates to €85/cow on the first 25 cows.

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