Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 21 September 2017

7,000 farmers still waiting on beef data payments

Denis Naughten
Denis Naughten
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Close to €2.5m has yet to be paid to over 7,000 beef farmers under the 2013 Beef Data Scheme.

Although 34,000 farmers were due to be paid in May 2014 under the beef scheme, just 26,715 have received payments to date.

The figures were released by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in reply to a Dáil question from Roscommon TD, Denis Naughten.

"Some 37,000 farmers applied to join the 2013 Beef Data Scheme and approximately 34,000 expected to be paid in May 2014, however, to date just 26,715 farmers have received an average payment of €350," Deputy Naughten said.

"Eligible applicants are due to receive €20 per animal in respect of the first 30 animals and €10 per animal in respect of the next 20 animals registered as born into the herd in 2013," he explained.

"Delayed farm payments cause financial hardship for many farmers who are awaiting payments. Families rely on farm payments coming in to pay outstanding meal bills and bank loans," he added.

Deputy Naughten claimed there was no justification for the nine-month delay in the beef payment and he called for all outstanding monies to be issued immediately.

Meanwhile, Irish beef prices have zoomed to third place on the league of EU average prices within the past month - the highest EU placing in several years.

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The only beef markets leading the Irish factory prices at the beginning of February were Great Britain, paying the highest EU average price for both steers and heifers, followed in second place by Northern Ireland.

The average British price for R3 heifers was 492.9c/kg, while Northern Ireland was on 486.6c/kg and the South on 415.7c/kg. The difference between Irish and British prices for R3 steers at the beginning of February was 91c/kg, with Ireland on 402c/kg and Britain on 493c/kg.

The differential in terms of finished cattle prices between Ireland and Britain remains significant, with steers in Britain making 325.08/hd more than their Irish counterparts and heifers €277/hd more.

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