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  • €102 million Budget 2021 provision for livestock sector supports

€102 million Budget 2021 provision for livestock sector supports

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has highlighted specific supports targeted at the livestock sector in his Department’s Estimates for 2021.

€85 million has been allocated for specific supports to sustainable beef farming. This includes over €40 million for the extension of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme during the transition period before the next CAP. An optional extension will be offered to all those who have met the requirements of the scheme, and who commit to maintaining those requirements. Current participants are again reminded that they must meet all scheme requirements by end of October 2020 in order to be eligible for payment in 2020 and to enable them to stay on in the scheme for 2021.

Minister McConalogue commented: “As with other Rural Development Programme schemes, I have prioritised funding to allow for the rollover of the BDGP scheme for existing participants during the transition period before the next CAP. I expect that the scheme will benefit in the region of 22,000 farmers next year.”

€45 million has been allocated for the Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot. This scheme will build on the success of the BEEP-S scheme this year, aiming

to improve the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves by recording weights, and also optional animal health and welfare measures.

This provides for a maximum payment per suckler cow/calf pair of €90 per head for the first 10 suckler cows, and €80 thereafter.

Next year’s scheme will also contain €5 million for a new calf weighing measure to support beef farmers rearing dairy beef calves. Minister McConalogue stated: “I believe that there is real potential for better integration of dairy and beef systems, to provide a new income stream for beef farmers. I expect that the scheme as a whole will benefit in the region of 32,000 farmers next year.’’

“The sheep sector is vitally important to some of the most disadvantaged parts of rural Ireland” Minister McConalogue commented. “I am therefore allocating €17 million to allow for the rollover of the Sheep Welfare Scheme during the transition period before the next CAP. This scheme has been shown to be effective, and sheep farmers have engaged very well with it. I expect that the scheme will benefit in the region of 18,000 farmers next year.”

Minister McConalogue concluded: “This package as a whole will support livestock farmers to improve the economic and environmental performance of their herds, while providing valuable income support for the sector.”

This week, Minister McConalogue also announced the commencement of Advance Payments of €781 million under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme. In order to facilitate farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are in place for the Direct Payments Helpline. From Monday the 19th of October to Friday the 23rd of October, the Helpdesk will be available to answer farmers queries up to 8.30pm each evening. Farmers can ring the Helpdesk at 076 106 4420. Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie