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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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€31m cash boost for suckler farmers

Payments under the 2021 Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) have commenced.

That is according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who made the announcement on Wednesday, December 16th.

In a statement, the minister said:

“I am delighted to be able to commence payments under the 2021 BDGP scheme.”

“Payments valued at over €31 million are issuing over the coming days to over participants across both Beef Data and Genomics Programme I and II.”

The minister added that the BDGP has proven to be a “hugely successful scheme”.

He stated it has supported beef farmer incomes and resulted in “greater” levels of efficiency in our “world-class” suckler herd.

A one-year transitional Beef Data and Genomics Programme for 2021 saw 17,700 of the original scheme’s participants opt to continue in the scheme for 2021.

Meanwhile, the second tranche of the original programme, Beef Data and Genomics Programme II, has 1,450 participants and will end in 2022.

Other farmer payments

Continuing, the minister reiterated that “in the past week alone, we have issued over €70m to our beef and suckler farmers through our innovative schemes”.

The payments under the BDGP are in addition to the €42 million that it issued last week under the 2021 BEEP-S and Dairy programmes to over 30,000 participants.

Furthermore, the DAFM will continue to issue payments on an ongoing basis as more farmers verify their compliance with the 2021 scheme requirements.

The Minister urged participating farmers to return all surveys and genotyping samples and/or complete the carbon navigator update as soon as possible to facilitate payment.

Extend BDGP contracts

The Minister added that approval has been received for the continuity of many farm schemes in 2022, including the BDGP.

In that context, since November 18th, 2021, his department has been accepting applications from participants in the 2021 BDGP transitional scheme to participate in a further one-year extension of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme for 2022.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5 pm on December 20th, 2021.

Concluding, McConalogue said he is “looking” forward to “build on the gains” made under the BDGP through the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Scheme under the next CAP.

Participants earn €150/cow on the first ten cows, up from €90/cow on the first ten cows under the BDGP.

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