The INHFA is urging suckler farmers to apply to the BEEP-S scheme, which provides €90/cow, with the deadline to apply approaching on 15 May.
INHFA president Colm O’Donnell said that the new scheme for suckler cows is by far the simplest and most straightforward intervention coming from the Department of Agriculture to date.
This scheme has emerged as a result of an acknowledgement by the newly formed Beef Market Taskforce of the need for additional direct support for sucklers, the INHFA said.
"The INHFA played a central role in highlighting the need for a more targeted direct support for smaller suckler farms," O’Donnell said.
“The new suckler scheme has a front loaded payment on the first 10 cows whereby a participant can draw down €900 or €90 per cow/calf. Included in the makeup of the scheme are weighing, welfare measures and supplementary meal feeding pre- and post-weaning".
The INHFA has written to Teagasc and the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) to assist clients in making the very simple online application for the new suckler scheme.
It has asked both institutions to promote the uptake among suckler farmers who previously haven't participated in any other schemes.
With €35m made available for 2020, it would be important that sufficient numbers of farmers apply
"This pilot scheme coming from the DAFM has the potential to form the basis for a decent support mechanism for primary suckler farmers in the next round of CAP. With €35m made available for 2020, it would be important that sufficient numbers of farmers apply to ensure full uptake of the funding for this year as the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) is due to finish in 2020.
“Further merging and development of a support structure for sucklers might finally become a reality," O’Donnell said.
Red line issue
The INHFA president said that it is a red line issue for the INHFA that any unused funding in the Rural Development Programme (RDP) already pledged to suckler cows, for example the unused BEAM money, must be channelled directly to support primary suckler cow farmers.
“This new BEEP-S is the only acceptable avenue to do this in these unprecedented times,” he said.