Payments under the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme - Suckler (BEEP-S) have commenced, with €40.4m issuing to 24,400 farmers, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced.

The programme targeted the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves, measuring the liveweight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow's liveweight.

Farmers were also encouraged to implement a number of optional health and welfare measures.


Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to confirm that payments have now commenced under BEEP-S, building on the range of support schemes available for beef farmers and that there will be no need for a linear cut to the payment rates.

“The BEEP-S helps to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data collected, with a view to supporting the adoption of best practice and more informed decision making at farm level.”

The Minister added that payments will continue across a number of schemes, with the 2020 payments under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) scheduled to commence shortly.

“I am really happy to be able to provide payments under another important scheme for our beef and suckler sectors.

"We need to be able to support these important sectors, as they provide huge benefits to the national and regional economies, while also driving sustainable beef production,” he concluded.


IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden welcomed the issuing of full payment to farmers who have drawn down the full €40m allocation across 530,000 cow-and-calf pairs.

“It’s important that farmers have received their full payment for the measures they implemented,” Golden said.

The viability of suckler farms is heavily dependent on meaningful support payments, he said, and the Minister needed to ensure a seamless transition into the 2021 scheme.

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