No money can be left behind in the €100m Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme, according to Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) president Colm O'Donnell.

The BEAM scheme opened on Monday 19 August and will remain open to applications for three weeks.

O’Donnell said that provision must also be made to give a top-up payment on the first 10 cows to ensure no money is left behind.

Full draw-down

“The success and full draw-down of the money will be dependent on flexibilities and the ability to tweak the scheme to ensure no money is left unspent as a result of conditionality attached to the scheme,” he said.

Of particular concern to the INHFA "was that on farms practising an extensive grazing system where stocking rates were complying with terms and conditions of existing environmental schemes, exemptions and derogations needed to be considered. This facility is now part of the scheme,” O’Donnell said.

Timely applications

“It is advisable for suckler farmers to make the online application on time in conjunction with their farm adviser and also make an application to the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise for a derogation prior to 30 September.

“Derogations will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis and will ultimately decide whether farmers with extensive suckler systems can avail of a fair share of the fund without breaching Department rules currently in place for existing schemes,” he said.

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