Beef Finisher Payment - Applications Now Open
The Beef Finisher Payment (BFP) scheme is a one off, exchequer funded grant aid scheme which aims to support beef finishers in Ireland who have been severely impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist gives an overview of the scheme along with the eligibility criteria.
A few weeks ago the Minister for Agriculture announced a new Beef Finisher Payment (BFP) worth €50m which aims to support beef finishers in Ireland who have been severely impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Applications for the BFP opens on August 19th and will run until September 9th. All applications will have to be completed online using your Agfood account. If you are not registered online you can go to www.agfood.ie to register. You may apply online yourself or if you have given authorisation to your adviser/consultant they may apply on your behalf provided you instruct them to do so. If applying yourself once you go into your Agfood account along the left hand side of the screen you need to click on Exceptional Aid Measures and you can then proceed to submit your application.
At the time of application the number of eligible animals for payment will appear on screen so you will have some idea of what payment you might receive.
- An eligible animal is deemed to be one that is over 8 months old when presented for slaughter to an approved slaughtering plant in Ireland in the period 1st February 2020 to 12th June 2020 inclusive. Animals that went for slaughter in Northern Ireland during this period will not be deemed eligible. As it currently stands the proposed rate of payment will be €100/head.
- Applicants must be aged 18 or over at the time of application
- You must hold an active herd number with herd owner status. Herd Keeper is not acceptable.
- You will need to have submitted a valid BPS application in 2020 or submit one before 30th September 2020
- You need to be a member of the Bord Bia Quality assurance scheme at the time of application or apply to become a member before the 30th September 2020. You will also be required to maintain this membership on a continuous basis until 30th September 2021.
- Applying herds cannot be deemed as dealer or agent status
There is a maximum number of eligible animals per individual herd of 100 animals.
Farm Partnerships are also eligible to apply provided that;
- The application is made under the same Registered Farm Partnership (RFP) Number as the BPS application for 2020 and signed by each partner
- A maximum threshold of 200 animals will apply to RFP of two herds. A maximum threshold of 300 animals will apply to a RFP of three or more herds.
The BFP is the second scheme under Exceptional Aid Measures and follows on from the BEAM scheme which was launched in August 2019. BFP however does not require you to reduce Organic Nitrogen by 5% which was a requirement under BEAM. Similarly BFP does not require you to be in any environmental programme such as BDGP,GLAS, BEEP etc as was the case in BEAM.
As was the case in BEAM if DAFM systems identify that cattle slaughtered in the reference period are presented for slaughter by or on behalf of a slaughtering establishment these animals will not be eligible for payment.
In BFP if animals that have been presented for slaughter by an agent, dealer or another herdowner within 30 days of purchase including those purchased in the mart, payment may go to the previous herdowner provided they had the animal for more than 30 days. So it is important that farmers who may not have slaughtered animals directly during the reference period but sold animals close to finish privately of through the marts check to see if they are entitled to any payment. This can be checked by going on the agfood site as mentioned previously.
It is envisaged that payments for BFP will commence around mid-November 2020. So you can either go online yourself or through your adviser to check the potential number of eligible animals you might have in BFP and remember you have until 9th September to apply.
Listen in on this week's episode of The Beef Edge Podcast to find out more