Cutback on livestock a condition under which farmers were granted payments under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure – Minister

More than 34,000 farmers have received the aid of €77.72 million

Sligo News File

Farmers agreed to reduce the production of bovine livestock nitrogen on their holding when they applied for payment under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said in reply to a parliamentary question.

Sean Canney, TD

Pressing the Minister about his plans concerning the 5% reduction in livestock, a condition under which the aid was awarded to applicants, Sean Canney TD told him that many farmers were unable to sell stock owing to Covid-19 restrictions “including travel restrictions, and lockdowns” and, too, were unable to sell stock online.

McConalogue said the “Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) provided temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland, subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132.

“BEAM was funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support. It was provided to support Irish beef farmers who saw beef prices fall in light of the Covid-19 market disturbance.

“One of the conditions under which the €50 million was granted by the EU was that there had to be an element of reduction or re-structuring built in to the scheme. Accordingly, in applying for BEAM, participants agreed to reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen on their holding by 5% for the period 1st July 2020 to 30th June 2021 as compared with the period 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.

“Obligations under the measure were developed based on analysis of the herd profile and nitrates profile of the national herd. It was designed, in consultation with farmer representative organisations, to make the measure as easy to participate in as possible, whilst maintaining the requirement under the implementing regulation for temporary market adjustments.”

 “Since 2019, 34,345 farmers have received some €77.72M as part of the scheme,” he added