The application process for the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) for 2020 will open today, (Thursday, March 12th).
BEEP, which has a funding provision of €35m in 2020, will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves – measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow’s live weight.
In recognition of the important role of animal health and welfare in economic and environmental efficiency, participants in the programme will also be encouraged to implement a number of optional health and welfare measures, according to a statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
If programme participants complete all of the mandatory and optional actions available, they will be eligible for a payment of up to €90 for the first ten suckler cow/calf pairs per herd, and up to €80 per pair thereafter, subject to an overall maximum of 100 pairs per herd.
Increase economic and environmental efficiency
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., commented, “This scheme builds on the success of the 2019 pilot and marks the latest support measure I’ve made available for beef farmers in recent times.”
“The programme seeks to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data collected, with a view to supporting the adoption of best practice and more informed decision making at farm level.”
Programme actions are as follows:
- Mandatory weighing action: €50 per first ten cow/calf weighing per herd (and €40 per cow/calf weighing thereafter). This action measures the ratio of calf weight at weaning to maternal weight, enabling farmers to “readily identify” their most economic and environmentally efficient suckler cows in their herd;
- Optional action: €30 for an additional welfare action, with a choice of either a vaccination programme or a pre-weaning meal feeding programme. This action, the Department added, will improve the health and welfare of suckler calves at weaning time;
- Optional action: €10 for a further option – participation in a faecal egg testing programme. This action is targeted at the control of liver and rumen fluke in adult suckler cows, improving animal health and welfare.
Terms and conditions of the programme are available here.
Applications must be made online and the application window will remain open May 15th, 2020.