Suckler farmers that have applied to the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) have until November 1st to submit the weights of their eligible animals, writes Seán McMahon, Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Masters Student, Teagasc Longford.
Through BEEP, farmers will receive a payment of up to €40 per cow-calf pairing for collecting and submitting weight data on cows and calves. For those who have yet to record weights of their animals, here are some of the main requirements for the scheme.
What animals are eligible for the scheme?
All suckler calves (beef sire x beef dam) born from July 1st, 2018 – June 30th, 2019 and their dams are eligible for the scheme. Calves must be weighed before they are weaned, ideally between 150-250 days of age. Animals must be weighed individually and on the same day.
What scales can I use?
Animals can be weighed using a weighing scales. Scales can be owned, borrowed or rented; however, double-check to ensure your scales have been registered with ICBF before weighing.
To check/ register your scales with ICBF simply log into your ICBF account, click on the ‘services’ tab at the top of the screen and finally click on the ‘BEEP’ tab which will allow you to register your scales.
You will need the manufacturing details, indicator model and serial number of your scales when registering. Once registered, each scales will be issued with a unique BEEP scales registration number.
When do I submit my weights?
The deadline for submitting weights to ICBF is November 1st, 2019. Weights must be submitted to the ICBF database within 7 days of the animals being weighed on-farm.
Top tips for farmers
- Stay safe - Ensure animal handling facilities are adequate and safe for weighing;
- Ensure the animal has four feet on the platform and is not leaning on anything;
- Weighing calves between 150-250 days will give a good indication of the dams milking ability;
- Weights can be recorded on your phone using ICBF’s weight recording app or recorded manually on a piece of paper and uploaded later on the ICBF website;
- A quick rinse of the scales before weighing will stop dirt sticking to the scales. Wash and disinfect scales when finished.