Scramble for sucklers as farmers face 40% cut in BDGP payments
A cramble to buy quality suckler replacement stock kicked off this week after the Department of Agriculture informed hundreds of farmers their herds would not meet required breeding standards.
Farmers would lose 40pc of their total payment under the six-year €300m Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) if they do not have enough high-genetic animals in their herd.
The Department has confirmed that the ICBF's most recent evaluation reports found that 750 of the current 23,000 farmers in the first phase of the scheme do not have enough four or five star animals in their herds to meet the 20pc female replacement criteria required by October 31, 2018.
A further 700 are creeping over the line with just sufficient animals to satisfy this requirement.
Letters are now being sent out to farmers with eligibility reports, updating them on the status of the animals in their herd for the replacement requirements.
"The Department, in conjunction with ICBF and Teagasc, will be holding a series of workshops in the coming weeks to advise these farmers on what is required by them in order to reach this commitment under BDGP I," a Department spokesman stated.
"When farmers joined the scheme, they were advised in the terms and conditions that they would lose 40pc of total payment if they do not satisfy this requirement by October 31, 2018."