Farmers who fall short of the 5% nitrogen reduction clause in the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) are eligible to keep as much as 80% of their payment, as set out in the original terms and conditions of the scheme.

A graduated payment regime will come into effect where a farmer has not met the 5% reduction.

Farmers must meet a minimum of a 4% reduction in order to avoid triggering a 100% clawback.

Those who reduce by between 4% and 5% are subject to a partial clawback, as detailed in Table 1 below.

BEAM changes

The European Commission recently allowed Ireland the flexibility to set a new reduction period under the BEAM scheme.

Farmers now have the option to change the reduction year from the existing period of 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 to a new period of 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

In response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Patricia Ryan, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said he will be engaging with farm organisations and agricultural consultants in the coming period to establish how best to work with participants on these changes.

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