Farmers in the BDGP 1 scheme must ensure that they meet the end of October deadline of having 50% of their reference number of cows/heifers must be eligible 4/5-star replacement females, writes Keith Fahy, B&T drystock adviser, Teagasc, Galway/Clare.
Females must be genotyped 4/5-star and must be over 16 months of age on October 31st, 2020. Therefore, the females must be born/registered on June 30th, 2019 or before to be eligible.
Failure to meet deadline
Farmers would have received letters from ICBF on the current status on their herd or they can access this on the ICBF website under the BDGP section.
Penalties of up to 140% can be incurred if this deadline is not met.
So, not only will the farmer not receive any payment for 2020, they will also be deducted a further 40% of the gross payment for another year.
There are a number of 4 and 5-star replacement heifer sales coming on stream in selected marts over the coming weeks.
Buying eligible heifers
Farmers looking for 4/5-star genotyped heifers have a number of ways to purchase these heifers.
They can be bought privately, through marts, specialist sales and ICBF has also launched a new mart tracker where farmers can select the mart they purchase in and they can look up to see if any eligible females will be for sale in that mart on that day.
This can be done by logging onto the ICBF home page and by clicking into the live mart tracker and then choose the mart and lots should appear.
Numbers will vary depending on the time you check them as some heifers entered into the marts late on the day may be slower to appear on the tracker so it is important to keep updating the search on the day of the sale.