The new Dairy Beef Scheme will open for applications in mid- to late-March, according to the Department of Agriculture.

David Buckley, head of the direct payments division for beef schemes, told the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) AGM on Thursday that the new scheme would run over four years.

It is likely to follow the 2023 Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme, which paid €20 per eligible calf weighed, up to a maximum of 50 calves.

While originally it was understood from what was announced in Budget 2024 that the scheme would be worth €6.5m to farmers per year, on Thursday, Buckley told the conference that the scheme would be worth €25m in total, which amounts to €6.25m each year.

"This scheme is a new scheme and it's the last scheme within the CSP [CAP strategic plan] that is going to be launched.

"It's going to be a four-year scheme. In effect, but not directly, it replaces what would have been the Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme in 2023," Buckely told the meeting.


Farmers and advisers on behalf of farmers can apply for the scheme online through

New applications can be submitted each year of the scheme, but farmers already participating do not need to reapply each year.

Farmers who apply for the scheme this year will be eligible for payment for the four years until 2027.

However, those who apply any year after will only receive a maximum of three years payments as the scheme will end in 2027.


Farmers must carry out just one action in order to be eligible for the scheme.

This is to use high dairy beef index (DBI) bulls (minimum three stars) and bulls who are three stars on the beef sub-index.

Payments will be made in March of the following year of application.