Teagasc applies for fees hike
Teagasc clients considering joining the Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP) discussion group scheme could face significant hikes in their Teagasc annual fees.
A raft of price increases across all Teagasc packages have been approved by the Teagasc Authority, leading to -- on average -- a 5pc increase in farmers' fees.
However, farmers who want to join the new beef discussion group scheme will be subject to even greater increases, as they must switch from Teagasc's basic advisory plans to more costly discussion group packages.
The proposed new charges were submitted to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney last week, and, if approved, will apply from next month.
The proposed price hikes include a €25 increase in the Teagasc Club support package for farmers with under 50 income units. Their fee will rise from €75 to €100 per farmer. The rate for farmers with over 50 income units will rise by €5.
The price of the Teagasc Plus technology package is to rise by €10 for all farmers, from rates of €175 (farms under 50 income units), €200 (50-100 income units) and €250 (over 100 income units) in 2011, to €185, €210 and €260 in 2012.
Teagasc's Extra package is also to increase by €10 across the board, from rates of €225, €250 and €300 in 2011, to €235, €260 and €315 in 2012.
The Premium package, which covers membership of a Teagasc discussion group, has been changed to distinguish between farmers participating in the Dairy Efficiency Programme (DEP) and BTAP beef discussion groups. Depending on farm size, the rate for dairy discussion group membership last year was €375, €400 or €450. In 2012, these rates will increase by €20 across the board to €395, €420 or €470.