BEEP-S is an important financial boost in 2020, writes Austin Callaghan, Teagasc Drystock Advisor, Claremorris.
The Beef Environment Efficiency Programme - Suckler or BEEP – S 2020 is now open for applications. It is open to all suckler farmers. You do not need to be participating in the BGDP or BEEP 2019. The experience of farmers in 2019 with BEEP was very good. The payment was good and it provided valuable data on calf performance over the suckling period.
Unlike in 2019, the application for BEEP - S is online only and the closing date is May 15th. Your Teagasc adviser or agricultural agent can apply for you but you must authorise him/her to do so. You the farmer can also apply through your agfood.ie account. Be careful when submitting. Once submitted, the application cannot be changed so make sure you tick the correct boxes.
The programme is substantially different than in 2019 with increased payments of up to €90 per cow and calf weighed for the first 10 cows. For this increased payment, you are required to complete a number of actions which you must select on applying.
Action 1: Weigh both the Cow and Calf separately on the same day before weaning.
This is compulsory and it pays €50 for first 10 cow/calf pairs weighed and €40 per cow and calf weighed thereafter up to 100 cows. Calves born between 1st of July 2019 & 30th of June 2020 are eligible.
Weighing must be carried out between the 1st of January 2020 and the 1st of November. The weights are submitted to ICBF by one of two means. You can either record on www.icbf.ie or ICBF will send you a data sheet.
You record the weights on this data sheet and then return it to ICBF. Weights should be recorded with ICBF within 7 days of weighing. As in 2019 you can use your own scale or you can borrow a scale. You can also rent scales and Aurivo were the local providers of the renting service last year. This worked very well for farmers in 2019.
All scales must have a code which is recorded with ICBF. It is important to note you'll only be paid for the other actions where you weigh the cow and calf.
Action 2: Meal feeding or vaccination for pneumonia
This action is not compulsory, but most farmers will complete this action. The payment here is an additional €30 per cow and calf weighed.
You must select one of two options, either meal feeding or vaccination for pneumonia. For meal feeding, you must meal feed weanlings 4 weeks before weaning and 2 weeks after weaning. For this option, you're expected to wean 2 weeks before selling.
The quantity of meal fed is not specified, but approximately 1 -2 kgs per day at weaning. Keep meal dockets and a record of weaning dates for inspection. Meal fed must include minerals.
If you choose to vaccination for pneumonia, this is again completed close to weaning. Select a suitable vaccination programme for your farm with consultation from your vet.
As you are self-regulating for both the meal feeding and vaccination actions, it is important to keep receipts and good records of meal feeding dates, vaccination dates and weaning dates. For this reason, if you’re found to breach either option you lose this payment plus an additional penalty of 50% of this payment.
Action 3: faecal egg testing of cows.
This is not compulsory but where selected it pays €10 per cow and calf weighed.
Place cows in a clean pen and leave for 1 - 2 hours. Then collect 10 fresh dung samples. The 10 samples are pooled in the lab. Previously this was costing €12 - €18 per pooled sample but this may change. The samples must be sent to an approved Department of Agriculture lab only.
This must be completed before the 1st of November. Samples are checked for the presence of liver & rumen fluke. Dose accordingly afterwards.
This is a very good programme and it is recommended all suckler farmers apply. Contact your local Teagasc Adviser if you’ve any questions on the programme. Keep safe in these difficult times.