Two new support measures for the beef sector have been announced by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.
A €260m Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) under the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) and the €5m National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme 2023.
The SCEP is the successor to the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), has a budget of €260m over five years. It rewards participants with a payment of €150/cow on the first 22 cows and €120/cow on subsequent cows.
It targets bovine emissions through enhanced use of genetics, genomics, and performance metrics. It will operate as a five-year contract.
The scheme, which is subject to final approval by the European Commission, is structured around four mandatory actions which must be undertaken by participants in each year of the scheme.
These actions relate to the replacement strategy for both dams and sires, genotyping, weighing of suckler cow/calf pairs and data recording.
The Minister said the commitments farmers are asked to make under this scheme reflect the need to have reliable, evidence-based data. "We need this data to prove reduced emissions from livestock production and meet climate targets.”
Membership of the Bord Bia SBLAS is a requirement for participation in this scheme.
The National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme 2023 is a successor to similar schemes in 2021 and 2022, has a budget of €5m, and is funded from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
Participants are required to weigh a minimum of five eligible calves and submit details to the ICBF. From May 1, 2023, all data should be submitted within seven days of weighing until November 1, 2023. The payment rate is up to €20 per eligible calf weighed, subject to a maximum of 50 calves..
May 2 is the closing date for both schemes and applications can be made online through agfood.ie
Commenting on the opening of the measures, Minister McConalogue said: "As Minister, I have consistently advocated for and secured vital supports to make suckler and beef farming more efficient and competitive. Our suckler and beef farmers are the best in the world and I will continue to stand behind them and back them."