The DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) is currently “discussing” the details of its new National Beef Welfare Scheme 2023, BEEP-S’ replacement in the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) which came into effect on January 1st, 2023.
Editor of That’s Farming, Catherina Cunnane, flagged the matter with the DAFM’s press office to request further information about the measure, which is believed to have a budget of €28 million.
This publication understands that scheme options have “yet to be finalised”, but weighing will not be involved.
In a statement to That’s Farming, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine explained:
“The National Beef Welfare Scheme is a nationally-funded beef scheme which will replace BEEP-S, which has been operational since 2019.”
“The scheme details are still being discussed, but it is the intention that the scheme will open around late July 2023 with payments in December 2023,” the spokesperson added.
In a previous news article, That’s Farming, looked at the BDGP’s successor programme, the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), which is separate from the aforementioned National Beef Welfare Scheme and should not be confused with the DAFM’s Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme.
The SCEP carries a payment of €225/ha for the first eligible hectares and €180 thereafter, per remaining eligible hectares, which you can read (possibly payment of €150/cow for the first 10 cows and €120/cow thereafter).
- Member of Bord Bia SBLAS before applying and remain a member for the scheme’s duration;
- Must submit a BISS application on which all their lands are declared for the SCEP’s duration;
- Calve down at least half of the reference number of animals every year;
- Complete training, as outlined in this news article.
4 measures under SCEP
- Replacement strategy: Covers dams and sires
- Years 1 & 2: 80% of calves produced on the holding must come from a 4/5-star sire;
- Increases to 85% in year 3 & 4;
- Increases to 90% in year 5.
- Years 1 & 2: 50% of reference figure: Dams retained on holding must be 4/5-star;
- Increases to 65% in year 3 & 4;
- Increases to 75% in year 5.
- Weight recording:
Weigh at 70% of the ref number of animals on the holding every year and submit data by November 1st, annually.
At least 70% of the reference number of animals on the holding must be genotyped each year of the programme without repetition.
- Data recording:
Participants must provide a range of data through animal events, records, and surveys.
In the previous CAP, BEEP-S (Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme) was designed, as per the DAFM’s official terms and conditions, to “further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data that is collected”.
The programme targetted the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves through the collection of the live weights of cows and progeny in the herd of each participant, improving the welfare of suckler calves at the time of weaning, and controlling liver fluke in adult suckler cows.
There were a number of actions in the programme:
- Action 1 – compulsory;
- Action 2 & action 3 – optional.
Weighing and submission of weights to ICBF was a compulsory action.
Participants had to weigh each unweaned calf and its dam and submit weights to ICBF within 7 days of weighing.
All calves had to be born within a specified period, and then the farmer had to weigh the unweaned live calf and dam on their holding, using a DAFM-registered weighing scales.
Meal feeding, vaccines and dung samples
Applicants have the choice of either meal feeding pre-weaning and post-weaning or implement a vaccination programme for respiratory diseases in suckler calves for respiratory diseases and record details of vaccination.
Action three (optional) involved faecal egg testing targeted at the control of liver and rumen fluke in adult suckler cows. Samples were taken and submitted to approved laboratories.
The payment rate for action 1 was up to €50 per first ten cow/calf weighing’s per herd and up to €40 per cow/calf weighing thereafter to a maximum of 100 pairs in total.
An additional payment for completion of action 2 was up to €30 per calf, with payment for action 3 being an additional €10 approximately per cow.
Note: The DAFM has yet to release the SCEP’s and National Beef Welfare Scheme’s official terms and conditions.