The majority of farmers concerned have availed of the option to extend their Green low-Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme (GLAS) and Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) contracts for 2021.
Figures released on Tuesday by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, show that 98% of GLAS I and II participants responded by the deadline of 31 December 2020 and within this, some 98% applied to continue in the scheme for an additional year.
There was a similar level of uptake in the Organic Farming Scheme, with 97% of eligible participants responding to the offer and 97% of these opting to avail of the one year contract extension for 2021.
In contrast, the level of uptake from participants in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) is running at a much lower level. As of Tuesday morning 5 January, just 52% of those eligible to extend their participation for an additional year have responded, with the majority of these (97%) opting to extend their contract for 2021.
While the GLAS and OFS deadline to respond has passed since 31 December, the deadline to respond to the BDGP extension is 15 January.
The programme requirements for 2021 are identical to the 2020 targets. In short, farmers must fulfil the following requirements:
The process to confirm participation for 2021 is straightforward. Log onto www.agfood.ie, select the option ‘BDGP’ followed by the tab ‘Extend Application’ and then confirm participation.
The status of your application will be summarised once this is completed, but it will also show where participants have already applied to extend their application by text message. Farmers with any queries should contact the Beef Schemes Division at 076-1064 423, or by email to BeefSchemes@agriculture.gov.ie.
There are in the region of 1,000 participants of BDGP I who are not deemed eligible to extend their application for 2021.
These herds are advised to contact the Department, as there may be a route for them to have their status reassessed and receive approval to extend their application for 2021.