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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: What to know when using your own scales for the weight recording measure

If farmers do not wish to rent a scales to carry out the mandatory weight recording element in SCEP, as outlined in this news article on That’s Farming, they can utilise an owned, borrowed or using a third-party service provider’s scales.

If you own a set of scales (either new or existing) and plan to use them (or lend them to another person) for the purpose of SCEP, then you must pre-register the scales before the weight recording event, as was the case with the BEEP-S.

Owned scales registered for previous weighing schemes will be brought forward and will not need to be re-registered.

To register scales, please visit the ICBF website and register the scales using the ‘registration of scales’ input screen.

For the purpose of registration of scales, the ICBF will request the following information:

  • Name and address of the owner of scales;
  • Scales manufacturer;
  • Indicator model;
  • Indicator serial number;
  • Year of purchase;
  • Acknowledgement that the scales are in good working order.

In circumstances where scales are not deemed to meet the minimum validation criterion regarding the accuracy of weight- recording, the DAFM will deem such scales ineligible for use in the programme.

Unique scales registration number

Once the registration of scales is complete, the ICBF will issue a unique ‘scales registration number’, which you must use and/or reference (depending on your chosen data recording option) when recording any weight data for animals as part of SCEP.

Without this number, you will not be able to submit cow and calf weight data as part of SCEP and, therefore, will not receive any payment from the programme.

You can read our previous article on That’s Farming on how many cow and calf pairs you must weigh for this scheme via this link.

As previously highlighted by That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, the weighing element accounts for 20% of a farmer’s total SCEP envelope.

Herd owners using scales that are sourced from a third-party service provider must, for inspection purposes by either DAFM or ICBF, retain documentary evidence establishing the scale’s procurement.

This document must, at a minimum:

  • Record the ICBF registration number of the scales;
  • The name and signature of the person to whom  the  scales  are  registered;
  • The name  and  signature  of  the  person borrowing the scales;
  • The date they were borrowed;
  • The date they were returned.

Herd owners using scales sourced from a third-party service provider must ensure that the scales are clean and disinfected before and after use to minimise any potential disease risk from the movement of equipment between farms.

Recording data

When recording weights of cows and calves, the DAFM encourages herdowners 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’s webpage and DAFM-approved farm software.

If you are recording the data by paper, you must use the weight recording sheet that the ICBF has provided.

This can be printed off from the participant’s ICBF user account or ordered directly from ICBF in advance of the weight recording visit. Please complete all relevant information on the sheet. This includes;

  • The unique registration number of the scales;
  • The date of the event;
  • Weights of cows and calves recorded as part of the event. The information must be then posted to ICBF for manual data keying.

In terms of weight recording,

  • Herd owners must record animals one at a time. For example, cows and calves separately and one animal on the platform at a time;
  • Only weigh un-weaned calves and their dams;
  • DAFM will only issue SCEP payments on weight records recorded and validated on the ICBF database;
  • Submit all records within seven days of the completion of the weight recording process.;
  • If weight records are deemed unusable as a result  (inter alia)  of the scales used being unfit for purpose, then payment may not issue under SCEP;
  • Farmers should note that the DAFM and its agent may inspect scales as part of programme participation.
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