Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has confirmed that the Department of Agriculture, has commenced payments worth €36m under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme.
Speaking earlier Maura Hopkins said that “Minister Creed advised me this morning that payments have commenced. I am very happy that these payments have now commenced and are a very welcome boost for farm families in the run up to Christmas”.
“Farmers participating in the scheme have been very busy during 2016 attending training courses, making breeding decisions based on animal performance data, submitting survey data on calves, dams and bulls, arranging tissue tagging for genomic evaluation and completing carbon navigator analysis to assess farm efficiency so it is very obvious that farmers very much deserve this payment”.
Senator Hopkins went on to say “The overall aim of the programme is to improve the efficiency of our national beef herd mainly in the areas of fertility and performance. By doing so we can also demonstrate that we are reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in this area. When we use the best genetics and make decisions based on evidence based data we have an ability to maximise the likelihood of success. I have strongly encouraged Minister Creed to explore to possibility of opening the scheme for new participants in 2017”.
Maura Hopkins concluded by saying “Minister Creed has advised me that BDGP payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as farmers finalise data and genomic testing. I would encourage each participating farmer to take the time to assess their paperwork, submit any outstanding data, make enquiries if necessary but make sure the maximum payment possible is received from this scheme in 2016”.