Measures that farmers could undertake in lieu of a 5% nitrogen reduction under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) have been proposed by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA).
ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has called for farmers who cannot meet the reduction to be given the option of using trailing shoe slurry spreading technology and/or protected urea as an alternative.
“This would avoid the appalling vista of 8,000 hard pressed farmers being asked to return up to 100% of the BEAM money already received, which in certain cases is a €10,000 penalty,” Graham said.
“The reality is that not only are farmers struggling with the complexity of this requirement, but neither Teagasc nor the Department have the tools to advise farmers of where they stand in a timely and accurate fashion.”
Graham said introducing trailing shoe and protected urea as an alternative was a “win-win” as it delivered a reduction in emissions and would be in line with the Ag-Climatise national strategy. He said it would be a welcome proposal in Brussels.
Graham called on the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to tackle the issue as a matter of urgency.