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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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SCEP: How many 4 & 5 females do I need to have?

Action 2 SCEP – Female Replacement Strategy

Intertwining some measures from the previous CAP’s BDGP and BEEP-S, the DAFM’s new €260m Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) revolves around five main actions.

Readers should note that the new SCEP should not be confused with the National Beef Welfare Scheme 2023, which, as previously reported by That’s Farming in this news article, is BEEP-S’ replacement in the new programme.

Meanwhile, the SCEP is BDGP’s replacement and, according to the DAFM, aims to “provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of the national beef herd”.

In this news article on That’s Farming, we looked at the three primary eligibility requirements relating to SBLAS membership, submitting a BISS application and calving at least 50% of your reference number annually.

SCEP – 5 actions

The scheme’s objective is to “build on the gains delivered in recent years through the BDGP and BEEP by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd”.

Once you are accepted into the scheme, you are required to carry out five main actions as follows:

  1. Eligible bull/ eligible AI, as explained in this news article;
  2. Female replacement strategy;
  3. Genotyping;
  4. Weighing and submission of weights to ICBF;
  5. Calving details and surveys (5A and 5B).

Separate articles on the remaining measures to follow.

Action 2

For the purpose of this news article, as part of a new mini-series, That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, takes a look at action number 2, which revolves around female replacement strategy requirements.

As stated in the scheme’s terms and conditions, applicants are required to ensure that by the following dates, October 31st, X [represents year] at least Y (required %) of their yearly reference number are eligible females that are genotyped 4 or 5 stars on the replacement index (on a within the breed or on across breed basis), at the time of purchase (for replacements brought into the herd) or at the time of genotyping (for those replacements bred within the herd):

  • 2023 – At least 50%;
  • 2025 – At least 65%;
  • 2027 – At least 75%.

The DAFM has stated that females must be at least 16-months-old who are a beef breed or sired by a beef breed to meet the requirements under action 2 in the scheme.

Sanctions for non-compliance

According to the DAFM, action two accounts for 20% of a farmer’s total SCEP payment, and non-compliance will result in sanctions – no payment and an additional penalty (differs year to year), as follows –

  • Less than 50% of females 4 and 5-stars (4 or 5-star means animals that are within the top 40% of their respective index) on October 31st, 2023 – No payment for female replacement strategy plus an additional 10% penalty;
  • Less than 65% of females 4 and 5-stars on October 31st, 2025 – No payment for female replacement strategy plus an additional 30% penalty;
  • Less than 75% of females 4 and 5-stars on October 31st, 2027 – No payment for female replacement strategy plus an additional 50% penalty;
Explainer for farmers:
  • Scheme name:SCEP – Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme
  • Background:Targets bovine emissions through enhanced use of genetics, genomics, and performance metrics;
  • Requirements:5 main actions. Also: Become a member of the SBLAS (Sustainable Lamb and Beef Assurance Scheme) by October 16th, 2023, and maintain membership throughout their SCEP contract terms (full duration of the programme); Submit a BISS (BPS’ replacement) application every year and calve at least 50% of reference animals annually;
  • Budget:€260 million over 5 years;
  • Payment rates for farmers:Provided that all scheme requirements are met, area-based payments of €225 for the first 15 hectares and €180 for the remaining hectares up to the maximum payable area will be made to participants;
  • When to apply:Opening date: March 20th, 2023 and closing date: May 22nd, 2023;
  • How to apply:Through either yourself or by an approved/appointed FAS advisor authorised to act on your behalf;
  • Who can apply:All suckler farmers.
Other farming news articles on That’s Farming:
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