Farm leaders push for BEEP extension
Just a quarter of the country's suckler farmers have applied for the BEEP support package.
An extension of the application period for the €20m scheme has been sought by both the ICSA and IFA as a result of the low level of take-up.
It is understood that approximately 20,000 farmers had applied by last Friday's deadline, with close to 500,000 cows in the scheme.
However, a Department of Agriculture spokesman said the numbers were likely to increase substantially when all paper applications had been processed.
The farm organisations said the low-level of take-up of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP), which is worth €40/cow, indicated that more time was needed for farmers to apply.
Official figures from the Department show with 24-hours to go to the deadline, it had received 15,807 applications.
A Department spokesman pointed out the figures were likely to increase when paper applications were fully processed.
The farm organisations said the low-level of take-up of BEEP, which is worth €40/cow, indicated that more time was needed for farmers to apply.