Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has been called on to reopen the third iteration of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) Scheme.
The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) said suckler farmers needed certainty that the funding secured for the sector in Budget 2021 would allow them to participate in the scheme.
The INHFA met with the Minister and his officials to discuss the issue, insisting that the scheme be opened without further delay.
INHFA president Colm O’Donnell pointed out that suckler cows with calves born since 1 July 2020 were ready for weaning and pairings of cows and calves needed to be weighed and meal fed pre-weaning.
These actions are necessary to comply with the terms of the scheme.
O’Donnell advised participating suckler farmers to weigh their cow and calf pairings, register the results with the ICBF in a similar way to last year, introduce meal feeding pre-weaning and have receipts for the meal and wean the calves.
O’Donnell stated: “BEEP 2-S has been very well received by suckler farmers.
“Introducing those types of measures are great examples of how the newly established beef taskforce agreement is working and delivering on commitments entered into for beef farmers.
“This approach is making sure that meaningful discussion on scheme design between farmers, stakeholders and the Department takes place in advance of any scheme roll-out.
“We can see the current compliance problems with BEAM which didn't have the backing of the farm lobby."