Written answers

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Schemes

Photo of Michael LowryMichael Lowry (Tipperary, Independent)
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172. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department will extend the deadline for farmers to submit their Beep-S dung samples beyond 1 October 2021; if he will take into account that in 2020 the deadline to submit these samples was 1 November; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48529/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The objective of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Suckler (BEEP - S) is to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality data on herd performance, supporting decision making on farm and support of best practice in welfare management.

In addition to the mandatory weighing requirement, participants had the choice of two additional animal welfare measures. The first of these involves the meal feeding of calves as part of the weaning process or carrying out a vaccination programme in conjunction with the participants veterinary practitioner. The second optional measure was to submit samples to a participating laboratory for faecal testing.

The deadline for submission of samples for the 2021 BEEP-S scheme was 1stOctober 2021. This represents a change from the 2020 programme where the deadline was 1stNovember. The date was brought forward by one month to mitigate against the large number of samples that were submitted to laboratories in late October 2020 and which presented significant challenges for participating laboratories and ultimately delayed BEEP-S payments to a large portion of participating farmers.

To ensure all BEEP-S participants were aware of the earlier submission date this year, the date of 1st October 2021 was clearly set out in the approval letter that issued to all participants earlier this year. The earlier deadline was also clearly referenced in the Terms and Conditions of the scheme when it opened on 16th March 2021 and has been highlighted to the various stakeholders throughout.

Participating farmers were also issued a text message in July 2021 reminding farmers of the revised deadline.


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