Michael Creed – The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine – launched the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) with a funding provision of €20 million in January.
The new scheme will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves - measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow's live weight.
The funding available will allow for payment equivalent of up to a maximum of €40 per calf.
In opening the scheme, the Minister said the BEEP is a targeted support for suckler farmers and is specifically aimed at further improving the economic and environmental efficiency of beef production.
Animals must be weighed on-farm using a weighing platform and indicator. The platform is placed in a cattle crush and animals are weighed as they pass over it.
An owned/borrowed scales can be used or a scales can be rented; they will have to be registered with ICBF before animals can be weighed.
Details on renting scales will be available over the coming weeks, according to the ICBF.
- All suckler calves (beef sire x beef dam) born from July 1st 2018-June 30th 2019 and their dams are eligible;
- Calves must be weighed before they are weaned;
- Cows and calves must be weighed on the same day;
- Weights must be submitted between March 9th-November 1st to the ICBF database within 7 days of the animals being weighed on-farm.
- The ICBF said that the optimum time to weigh a suckler calf is approximately six months of age as calf’s dam will be no more than 4-5 months in-calf.
“Breeding a more efficient cow which meets the necessary weight and fertility targets will significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) generated per kg of beef produced in Ireland.” The ICBF said.
“A mid-sized cow approximately 600-700kg that weans a calf approximately 300-350kg is the optimum.” It concluded.
If you have any queries relating to the BEEP scheme, contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 076 1064420 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.