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Early August opening for new suckler scheme

Early August opening for new suckler scheme

A new suckler scheme, with a total budget of €20 million, is on track to open in early August, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has announced.

Based on practical measures to enhance animal health and husbandry on suckler farms, the 2024 Beef Welfare Scheme (BWS) will support farmers in meal feeding suckler calves before and after weaning, and in vaccinating against clostridial diseases and calf pneumonia. Calves eligible to the scheme are those born to eligible suckler cows in the period from July 1 2023 to 30 June 2024.

While the meal feeding action is mandatory for scheme participants, farmers must indicate that they are selecting the optional vaccination action at application stage if they wish to be considered for payment under this action. Farmers can then decide during the implementation phase, where appropriate in consultation with their veterinary surgeon, which disease they wish to target depending on the health status of their herds.

Commenting on scheme, Minister McConalogue said: “Supporting suckler farmers is one of my priorities as Minister and to this end, I secured an additional €20m in budget 2024 and ring fenced it in my Departments budget for this beef scheme. I can confirm that the scheme will open in early August, as it did last year. Together with Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), this will once again deliver on my commitment to deliver €200 per cow to suckler farmers.”

Minister McConalogue added: “This scheme is worth €20 million in additional income to suckler farmers. When coupled with the SCEP, participants in the BWS will be eligible for €200 per cow/calf pair for the first 22 pairs.”