The EU has given the green light to allow Ireland the flexibility to set a new reduction deadline under the Beef Emergency Aid Measure (BEAM).
The positive news comes after the some farmers were struggling to meet the 5 per cent nitrogen reduction element of the scheme.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue was under pressure to grant a six month extension to help farmers meet the nitrogen deadline.
The new reduction date has been extended from 30thJune 2021, to 31stDecember 2021 in order to help farmers avoid having to sell off stock in a shorter space of time.
However, the new reduction period will only apply to those farmers who opt for the change. Farmers currently on track to meet the 5 per cent nitrogen reduction targets can use the original reference period ending 30thJune.
“I welcome the decision by the European Commission to allow Ireland to amend the reduction period under the BEAM scheme for those who require it. As the EU is a significant funder of BEAM it was critical that they were consulted on Ireland’s proposed change. The new reduction period now gives those farmers who want it a second opportunity to meet the nitrogen reduction requirement of the scheme,” confirmed Mr McConalogue.
He added that now flexibility had been secured, he would be contacting all farmers participating in the scheme to provide updated nitrogen figures and advice on how and when they can opt to change the reduction year.