The option to select the later 12-month reduction period for the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM) is now available on, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

Farmers will have from Friday 19 March until Monday 21 June to select the later 12-month reduction period of 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 if they wish to do so.

Farmers and advisers are reminded that the reference period of 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 remains the same and that participants must still deliver the 5% reduction amount.

The new reduction period will only apply to those farmers who opt to apply for the change.

Those farmers currently on track to meet the 5% nitrogen reduction targets can use the original reference period ending 30 June.

Monthly updates

The Minister said farmers need to take a proactive approach to avoid facing penalties and reminded them that the Department’s BEAM calculator is available on and is being updated monthly.

Participants are encouraged to utilise the range of tools available, including the monthly letter to each BEAM participant outlining their individual progress to date on achieving the 5% reduction and to engage with their adviser.

Should farmers select the option of the later reduction period, they will still continue to receive monthly letters relating to their progress on achieving the 5% reduction within the existing reduction period.

If, after 30 June 2021, the Department identifies that participants who selected the later reduction period have met the 5% reduction during the existing reduction period, the Department will advise participants and allow them to withdraw from the later reduction period.