Almost 30,000 herds were put forward for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) in 2015.
However the figure of continuous and success applicants dropped by roughly 20%, with a total of 24,620 herds having submitted some or all of the beef data. 23,839 herds have submitted some or all of the genomic samples required for the programme.
The 22,068 applicants who submitted all necessary data to the programme have received payment adding up to just under €40 million as part of the scheme.
The reasons given by the Department of Agriculture for the unaccounted for applicants range from those who simply pulled out of the programme (some 4,851 herds) to the 1,172 herds that no genomic samples were provided for. These applicants have been contacted by the Department and reminded the samples are necessary for them to receive payment. Any outstanding data or samples must be returned by July 29 for farmers to be eligible for the BDGP payment.
The Beef Data and Genomics Programme was set up last year as part of the Rural Development Programme with the intention of delivering more accurate genetic improvement to the national herd. Applicants are tied into a six-year-long contract as part of the scheme, and must stay with it for the duration.