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.
- 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.