Farmers can choose between two actions, meal feeding pre-weaning and post-weaning (option one) or vaccination (option two), as part of their participation in BEEP-S.
In this article, That’s Farming, looks at introducing meal feeding for four weeks pre-weaning and two weeks post-weaning, as per the DAFM’s requirements.
According to the DAFM, this measure aims to reduce stress on calves at weaning time.
Farmers, who select this option, must supplement calves with compound feeding stuffs containing appropriate minerals and vitamins.
For the meal feeding action, farmers will receive €30/calf weighed to a maximum of 100 calves.
The DAFM states that participants must complete a record showing the date they commenced meal feeding.
If farmers are feeding straights (feed materials), they should consult their advisor or nutritionist to ensure that animals receive a “correct” level of nutrition.
The DAFM adds that farmers must supplement straights (feed materials) with a “suitable” complementary mineral feeding stuff.
If you are mixing two or more straights together on-farm, for example, using a mixer wagon or loading shovel, you must register with DAFM as a home mixer.
You should retain all receipts, invoices and labels of all compound feeding stuffs, and/or straights (feed materials) and complementary mineral mixtures you purchase.
You must make all records available for inspection and administrative checks.
As per the scheme, you must source all feeding stuffs, including mineral feeds, from registered or approved feed business operators.
Furthermore, you should feed minerals in accordance with the instructions on the label. The supplementation level must be an “adequate rate” to provide the required level of nutrition, the DAFM states.
Participants should supplement in accordance with manufacturers’ label recommendations.
Participants must retain sales documents for any cow/calves sold, which along with the feed delivery dockets and date of weaning, will verify that you fed the calf four weeks pre-weaning and two weeks post-weaning.
Furthermore, you must record the date of weaning of each animal that they are submitting for payment under this action.
Where groups of calves are weaned on different dates, record the different weaning dates for each group. The DAFM advises that the recommended daily feeding allowance for meal feeding is 1kg/animal/day.
In addition, the DAFM advises farmers to retain all meal purchase receipts (or evidence of use of own farm-produced cereals) on-farm and make them available for inspection.
It may also request a copy of records sheets from an applicant during the year as part of an administrative check to verify compliance with these measures.
Guide for farmers
Teagasc has produced the following table to help BEEP-S farmers:
|Weaning date||Date start meal feeding (-4 weeks)||Date end meal feeding (+ 2 weeks)||First sale date – 15 days + after weaning|
|25th August||28th July||8th September||9th September|
|1st September||4th August||15th September||16th September|
|8th September||11th August||22nd September||23rd September|
|15th September||18th August||29th September||30th September|
|22nd September||25th August||6th October||7th October|
|29th September||1st September||13th October||14th October|
|6th October||8th September||20th October||21st October|
|13th October||15th September||27th October||28th October|
|28th October||22nd September||3rd November||4th November|
The state agency outlines: “If you are meal feeding under the BEEP-S scheme, you cannot have a sale date less than 15 days after a weighing date.”
“No calf/weanling can be sold within two weeks of weaning if meal feeding under BEEP-S. The sale date must be >15 days after the weighing date.”
In a previous article on That’s Farming, we provided details of an incident whereby a Mayo farmer was handed a “harsh” penalty over a failure to meet the scheme’s T&Cs in respect of meal feeding.
You can read that news article.
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