The new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme – the successor to the BDGP (Beef Data and Genomics Programme) – will not re-open at any point for the full CAP period if the scheme is fully subscribed in 2023, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine has exclusively confirmed to That’s Farming, writes Catherina Cunnane.
That’s Farming this week, pressed the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the new beef scheme, which revolves around five main programme actions and intertwines some measures from the previous BDGP and BEEP-S.
Catherina Cunnane contacted the DAFM in relation to the matter, to seek clarification surrounding any potential re-opening of the scheme in subsequent years, similar to BDGP I and BDGP II, and circumstances for new suckler farming entrants over the next five years.
New suckler scheme
The spokesperson outlined in a statement to That’s Farming: “The objective of the €256m Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) is to provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of the national beef herd.”
“The programme aims to build on the gains delivered in recent years through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd.”
“Successful SCEP applicants will receive €150/cow on the first 22 cows and €120/cow thereafter. This compares to €90/cow on the first 10 cows and €80/cow thereafter in the BDGP.”
SCEP opened on March 20th, 2023, and the closing date is May 22nd, 2023, but late applications will be accepted up to June 16th, 2023, with a percentage penalty, the spokesperson added.
They continued: “It is a five-year programme; therefore, by entering into the programme, participants are committing to meet the requirements for the full five-year period.”
“The scheme has a budget of €256 million over the course of the CSP 2023 – 2027, with a financial allocation of €51.2 million in 2023 and all subsequent years up to and including 2027.”
“In the event of under-subscription to the programme, there may be another tranche of SCEP considered.”
“But, for example, if a young, trained farmer sets up a suckler herd in 2025 for the first time, s/he will not be able to apply for SCEP if the scheme is fully subscribed in 2023.”
Sign up in 2023
So essentially, whether there will be a SCEP II or SCEP III, for that matter, depends on how many farmers sign up for the scheme in this initial application period.
If the scheme is under-subscribed, there will be further versions of SCEP.
But the advice is if you are eligible for the scheme now and can commit to the required five-year period, “sign up now because there is no guarantee that there will be a further opening”.