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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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SCEP: Scheme removal and full clawback of money for farmers who fail to maintain SLBAS membership

In this article, That’s Farming looks at the three main programme eligibility requirements for the DAFM’s new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme.

There are three main programme eligibility requirements that suckler farmers must meet to qualify for the DAFM’s new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme – SCEP – which is the BDGP’s replacement in the new CAP.

Participants must, according to the scheme’s terms and conditions, which the DAFM has published in recent days:

  • Become a full member of the SBLAS (Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme) by October 16th, 2023 and maintain membership throughout their SCEP contract term (full duration of the programme);
  • Submit a BISS (BPS’ replacement) application every year;
  • Calve at least 50% of your reference number annually – At least 50% of the yearly reference number calved on the holding must be eligible calves between the scheme year: July 1st, 2022 and June 30th, 2023, and every scheme year thereafter. In the case where the yearly reference number is one, at least one eligible calf must be born in that scheme year.

See a previous news article on That’s Farming on five main programme actions via this link.

What happens if you do not comply?

There are a number of sanctions in circumstances where farmers fail to comply with the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

A failure to be a full member of the SBLAS by October 16th, 2023 and/or a failure to maintain membership throughout the scheme’s contract term will result in removal from the programme, and a full clawback of any SCEP monies/payments received, the DAFM has stated.

In a previous article on That’s Farming, Catherina Cunnane, spoke to a spokesperson for Bord Bia, who outlined that the majority of non-compliances found during the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) audit relate to record-keeping and, in particular, recording of animal remedies (usage and purchase) – you can read this news article via this link.

A failure to submit a BISS application will result in removal from the programme and a full clawback of any monies received from previous years, and the same sanction will apply for farmers that calve under 50% of their yearly reference females annually.

Other conditions: To be eligible for the SCEP, you must:
  • Be aged 18-years-old or over on the date of submission of the application for participation;
  • Be the holder of an active herd number with herd owner status – herd keeper is not acceptable;
  • Be farming a holding in respect of which a valid BISS application is submitted to the DAFM on a yearly basis and on which all land parcels are declared;
  • Must attend the SCEP training course and an animal handling course by November 15th, 2024;
  • Requirements relating to SBLAS membership, BISS application submission annually, and calving reference number, as highlighted above.
An explainer for farmers:
  • Scheme name: SCEP – Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme
  • Background: Targets bovine emissions through enhanced use of genetics, genomics, and performance metrics;
  • Requirements: 5 main actions. Also: Become a member of the SBLAS (Sustainable Lamb and Beef Assurance Scheme) by October 16th, 2023 and maintain membership throughout their SCEP contract terms (full duration of the programme); Submit a BISS (BPS’ replacement) application every year and calve at least 50% of reference animals annually;
  • Budget: €260 million over 5 years;
  • Payment rates for farmers: Provided that all scheme requirements are met, area-based payments of €225 for the first 15 hectares and €180 for the remaining hectares up to the maximum payable area will be made to participants;
  • When to apply: Opening date: March 20th, 2023 and closing date: May 22nd, 2023;
  • How to apply: Through AgFood.ie either yourself or by an approved/appointed FAS advisor authorised to act on your behalf;
  • Who can apply: All suckler farmers that meet scheme eligibility requirements.

Other farming news articles on That’s Farming:

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