Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has confirmed the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot will receive €20 million funding in 2019 and is encouraging all eligible Cork farmers to apply to funding.
The scheme will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves – measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow’s live weight.
Senator Lombard said: “Prior to the Budget I made continued representations to the Department on behalf of farmers and I am very pleased my Fine Gael colleague Minister Creed has responded and shown his understanding that this sector is under terrible financial pressure.
“Participating farmers will also get detailed feedback on the performance of individual animals and this will allow them to identify the most productive cows in their herd.
“Building on the success of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, the data collected will also be a valuable addition to Ireland’s already impressive cattle breeding database. Breeding improvement through the Economic Breeding Index is identifying the most efficient animals for grass based production system.
“I am very conscious that 2018 was a very difficult year for beef farmers in Cork, in terms of weather, fodder issues and market volatility. This is the sector most exposed to Brexit, given its reliance on the UK market. The BEEP is designed to provide an injection of investment at a critical time for farmers navigating the challenges ahead, while delivering in real terms on our climate objectives.
“I would encourage all beef suckler herd owners in Cork to apply for the scheme, applications will be accepted by the Department of agriculture between 4 and 22 February 2019.”
Application forms are available on https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/beep/. The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot was announced in Budget 2019 as part of the €78m Brexit package for the agri-food industry. As well as clear environmental and climate benefits, the BEEP will provide farm gate investment at a time of market volatility and uncertainty relating to Brexit.
04 January 2019