FARMERS are set to benefit from a new grant scheme for beef calves in the Budget.
It will replace the axed suckler cow welfare scheme, which had been worth €25m per year.
And it will be a boost for farmers in the wake of the fodder crisis earlier this year.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Junior Agriculture Minister Tom Hayes have both been lobbying strongly within Government on behalf of the new scheme, which will provide grants for farmers who produce quality beef calves.
But it is understood that the scheme will exclude calves from Friesian cows, which are used in the dairy sector rather than in the beef sector.
The previous suckler cow welfare scheme was set up in 2008, and paid farmers a total of €155m until its conclusion in December last year.