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Deadline Looming for Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM)

For Beef farmers the 30th of June signifies a significant deadline. Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist discusses the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) deadline for complying with the 5% reduction of Total Organic N figure from bovines, if you hadn't chosen to defer the end date.

Those of you who received a BEAM payment in 2019 will now have to comply (if you have not chosen to defer) with the requirement to reduce your Total Organic N figure to 5% below your reference figure, which was set in the reference period of 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.


For the last number of months you will have been receiving correspondence from Department of Agriculture Food and Marine (DAFM) on what your Total Organic N usage has been since 1st July 2020 and what your target is up to the 30th June 2021, if you are to achieve the 5% reduction. Over the last month herds that looked to avail of a derogation because they have had their herds restricted with TB at some point since 1st July 2020 have received their new target reduction by letter. It can also be viewed if they access their individual Agfood account. The reduction will be different for each herd and will be a function of how long that individual herd was restricted.

Two Beam Scenarios

We now really have two scenarios in BEAM; Herds who have selected to defer their BEAM year to 31st December 2021 which they could have done online up to the 21st June and herds who opted not defer and who now must meet the 30th June target.

Scenario 1- BEAM deadline 30th June 2021

  • For herds who opted not to defer it is reasonably straight forward. If you achieve the 5% or greater reduction in Total Organic N by the 30th June you will have essentially met the terms of BEAM and you will exit the scheme and retain the monies you received. Thankfully a large number of applicants will find themselves in this position. DAFM will likely confirm this sometime in August once they are happy with the information on the AIM database.
  • For herds that do not meet the 5% reduction and haven’t deferred to the end of the year they will find themselves in a penalty situation where some or all of the monies will be recouped by DAFM, depending on the level reduction achieved. Table 1 below outlines the tolerance and clawback levels. Indications are that any monies to be clawed back will be taken from payments due in the autumn.

Table 1: Tolerance and Clawback levels

Scenario 2 - BEAM deadline 31st December 2021

The second scenario involves herds that have opted to defer their period to the end of the year and there are in excess of 10,000 of these herds.

  • A number of herds applied for the deferral because, although close to reaching the 5% reduction, they were not sure of attaining it and so opted to buy more time by deferring until the end of the year. Where one of these herds does achieve the 5% reduction or greater on the 30th June they will be allowed to exit the scheme on that date. As with the scenario previously DAFM will notify them of this sometime in August.
  • All herds that have opted to defer and do not reach the 5% by June 30th will just have to continue to monitor their total Organic N figure up to the end of the year. As with the first scenario herds that do not achieve the 5% reduction by 31st December will face the clawback regime as outlined in Table 1.


So it is important that you monitor your position based on the letters coming out monthly from DAFM or use the www.Agfood.ie online facility. If you are unsure about the figures talk it through with your advisor/consultant.   You can contact any of our Teagasc offices using this link Teagasc Advisory Regions here  

For more on this topic you might like to read BEAM Scheme Scenarios by Colm Kelly, Advisor

The Teagasc Beef Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to suckler & cattle farmers every Wednesday here on Teagasc Daily