Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. announced there has been significant uptake in the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) which opened on 20th March 2023.
As of the closing date of midnight on 22nd May 2023, there were over 20,000 SCEP applications submitted, which clearly demonstrates the level of interest suckler farmers have in improving the environmental and economic sustainability of the national beef herd.
The Minister said:
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. SCEP is an excellent scheme that rewards farmers with a payment of €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. This is a clear commitment by me and the Government in supporting our excellent suckler farmers.
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 1st July 2022 and 30th June 2023,
- Ensure they are in the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) by 16th October 2023 at the very latest, and
- Ensure they submit their BISS application by midnight 29th May 2023.
Failure to meet one or more of these three eligibility criteria will result in no payment and removal from SCEP.
The Minister concluded by stating that:
My Department will be writing 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 as 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 Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) is the replacement for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP). SCEP opened on 20th March 2023 and closed at midnight on 22nd May 2023. Applicants can still apply up to 16th June 2023 albeit with a late application penalty.
The payment rate is €225 per hectare on the first 15 hectares and €180 per hectare thereafter up to the maximum payable area (MPA). The MPA is calculated as the yearly reference number divided by 1.5. For example, a yearly reference number of 30 cows would have an MPA of 20 hectares meaning a payment of 15 hectares by €225 = (€3,375) plus 5 hectares by €180 = (€900) meaning a total SCEP payment of €4,275 assuming the beneficiary delivered all the requirements of the programme in full.