Beef pay-out could be back €300

Caitriona Murphy

Payment rates under the new Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP) scheme could be as much as €300 short of the €1,000 per farmer touted when the scheme was launched.

Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed 7,100 applications for the beef discussion groups scheme were received prior to closing.

If all 7,100 farmers are eligible and meet the scheme requirements by October this year, it would result in a payment per farmer of €704.

However, it remains to be seen how many farmers will follow through on their initial applications.

It is believed that up to 10pc of farmers who first applied to the dairy discussion group scheme fell by the wayside before payment was made. If the same attrition rate applied to the beef scheme, the payment per farmer would rise to €782.

A spokesperson for the Department said payments would be based on the numbers successfully completing the BTAP work and the Department would not know this information until the end of October at the earliest.

IFA national livestock chairman Henry Burns said it was very important that the beef discussion group payment was at or very close to €1,000 per farmer. "Minister Coveney indicated if there was a good positive response from farmers on applications, he would not be found wanting in getting some additional funding to ensure that the payment rate was in the region of €1,000 per farmer."

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