Over 20,000 suckler farmers have applied for the new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), which opened on March 20th, 2023, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine has confirmed.
The scheme rewards farmers with a payment of €150/cow on the first 22 cows and €120/cow thereafter, compared to €90/cow on the first 10/cows and €80/cow thereafter in the BDGP.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, said the level of uptake, as per the closing date of midnight on May 22nd, 2023, “clearly demonstrates the level of interest suckler farmers have in improving the environmental and economic sustainability of the national beef herd”.
“I am delighted with the level of applications which demonstrates the importance of strong national and EU support for the suckler herd.”
“I firmly believe that we have the world-leading suckler herd that is the envy of the world.”
The minister reminded farmers to be mindful of ensuring they now meet both the eligibility requirements and the compliance requirements to ensure they generate these important SCEP farm payments.
Applicants are reminded to: –
- Ensure they calve down a minimum of 50% of the yearly reference number they applied for, between July 1st, 2022, and June 30th, 2023;
- Ensure they are in the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) by October 16th, 2023, at the very latest, and
- Ensure they submit their BISS application by midnight on May 29th, 2023.
Failure to meet one or more of these three eligibility criteria will result in no payment and removal from SCEP, the DAFM has stressed.
The DAFM will write to all farmers shortly acknowledging their SCEP application and reminding applicants of their obligations under the programme.
In particular, the minister highlighted the importance of applicants who are not already in the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme engaging with Bord Bia at the “earliest possible opportunity”.
“There will be a time lag of at least three months between contacting Bord Bia and getting certified. The Bord Bia’s Helpdesk can be contacted on (01) 5240410,” the minister explained.