A suckler scheme which would see payments front-loaded on the first 10 cows and a reduced payment for the next 15 cows has been proposed by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA).

The INHFA is currently discussing the proposal with Department of Agriculture officials in a bid to secure state aid.

INHFA president Colm O’Donnell said the scheme, if implemented, would provide much needed support to small- and medium-sized suckler farmers.

It is envisaged that to avail of the support farmers would be rewarded for measures they may already be carrying out. Farmers would also have the option to undertake additional measures.


Measures would revolve around public health, animal welfare, farm safety and the environment. A key focus would be that all measures are practical and the scheme would be simple to understand.

O’Donnell said lessons needed to be learnt from the failure of BDGP and BEEP on uptake and support.

He stressed the urgency of getting a scheme agreed and rolled out as soon as possible. Farmers could not be left waiting got support under the new CAP which may not be up and running until 2023, O’Donnell warned.

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