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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Renting a scales for weight recording in SCEP – what you need to know

Renting a weigh scales for weight recording in SCEP – what you need to know

There are two options available to herd owners for the weight recording measure, – as That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane has outlined in this news article – as part of the new SCEP.

These are:

  • A rental  model,  whereby  participants  rent  scales  from  an  approved  field  service  agent  to  undertake the SCEP weight recording process (which this article will focus on) or:
  • An owned, borrowed or third-party service model, whereby participants have access to a set of scales, and they are availing of these scales to undertake the SCEP weight recording process.

Farmers – who were previously in the BEEP-S – may be familiar with the weight recording protocol, which is now one of the five primary actions in the BDGP’s successor programme.

Renting a scales

If availing of the rental model for weight recording, farmers are advised to utilise the central booking facility to book the scales.

Participants operating the rental model for their weight recording service, should only use the rental scales  for  animals in  their own herd to  minimise  potential  disease  risk  associated  with  the movement of equipment from farm to farm.

When collecting scales from the field service agent, you will be required to pay a rental charge for the day and undertake to comply with the set requirements for use of the rental scales.

The DAFM, has, in the scheme’s terms and conditions outlined, that a failure to comply  with  the  requirements  for  use  of  the  rental  scales  may  lead  to  your  data  being  deemed unusable  and  consequently  your  payment  is  at  risk.

Each  set  of  scales  includes;

  • A clock which registers  the weights  of  the  animals
  • A set of  weigh  beams,  which  weighs  the  animal  and  then registers the weight with  the clock and;
  • A portable platform, which is to be placed on the floor of the crush to carry out  the weight recording process.

In terms of recording the weights of cows and calves, the DAFM is encouraging farmers  to  use  electronic options  to  record  this  data  as  this  will  ensure  more  accurate  and  timely  recording  of  the  data.

Electronic options include apps, ICBF webpage and DAFM-approved farm software providers.


If you are recording the data on paper, you must use the weight recording sheet provided by ICBF. You can print this off from your ICBF account or you can order from the federation in advance of the weight recording visit.

The DAFM has asked all herdowners to complete all relevant information on the sheet, including:

  • Unique registration number of the rental scales/tick box to indicate that rental scales were used;
  • The date  of  the  event;
  • Weights of  cows  and  calves,  recorded  as  part  of  the

Upon completion, you must then post the data to ICBF for manual data keying.

In terms of weight recording, herdowners must record animals one at a time – cows and calves separately – and one animal on the platform at a time and only weigh unweaned calves and their dams.

50-day-old calves & 7-day recording window

Moreover, it is important to note that valid calf weights are from a calf being a minimum of 50-days-old to weaning date of the calf.

Calves (and their dams) that are weaned should not be weight recorded, the DAFM has stressed in the scheme’s terms and conditions.

The DAFM will make SCEP payments on weight records recorded and validated on ICBF’s database.

All  records  should  be  submitted  within  7  days  of  the  completion  of  the  weight recording process, the DAFM has stressed.

The next article on the SCEP on That’s Farming will focus on owned, borrowed or using a third-party service providers’ scales.

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