There is anger among weanling producers as some farmers with autumn calves have been excluded from the new €50/head Beef Welfare Scheme.

Only calves born between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024 will be eligible for the scheme, which is to open in August.

However, a good weanling trade and tight grass supplies this year have resulted in many of last year’s autumn-born weanlings being sold already.

Those weanlings will not be eligible for the €15/head vaccination payment under the scheme. Farmers will also need to prove they fed those animals meal, prior to and after being weaned, under the terms of the scheme.

Meal feeding is worth a payment of €35/hd up a maximum of 40 head.

Animals gone

IFA livestock chair Declan Hanrahan said some farmers have effectively been “frozen out” of the scheme and called for the issue to be resolved before it opens next month.

“The Minister for Agriculture cannot stand over a situation where he provides details of a scheme requiring actions on farm when the animals are gone,” he said.