SCEP – All the key information you need for the new suckler scheme and how to make it easier for you…
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched its new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), which replaces the BDGP and contains some measures from the previous BEEP-S.
It is a five-year scheme with the intent of supporting beef farmers and improving the environmental sustainability of the national herd.
Due to the programme’s duration, it is important to plan ahead and remain in suckler farming for five years.
Continue reading to understand the scheme further and to see how Herdwatch could make life easier for you.
How does it work?
While the deadline was May 22nd, 2023, there is a 25-calendar day period for submission of late application, to which deductions to payment of 1% per working day in respect of SCEP will apply.
Each farmer received a programme reference number based on the number of eligible suckler cows producing an eligible calf on their holding in the years 2-16-2021 inclusive, from which the applicant is presented with the best three years.
The programme reference number must be set by the applicant at the beginning of the programme, and they can accept – but cannot increase – the programme reference number presented at the time of application or can reduce it down.
There is flexibility in terms of reducing this number by 20%, but may never exceed this number.
The applicant must then set their yearly reference number. The applicant can reduce the reference number by up to 20% of the previous year’s reference number.
Am I eligible?
For farmers to join the SCEP scheme, they also need to be a full member of SBLAS, the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, by October 16th, 2023 and remain in this scheme for five years.
A BISS (Basic Income Support for Sustainability) must be filled out each year.
Farmers must also ensure they calve down 50% of their reference number annually. It will also be a requirement for farmers to attend training in SCEP and animal handling by November 15th, 2024.
What payment will I receive?
Farmers will be paid on a per-hectare basis due to the environmental aspects of the scheme.
As a result, farmers who are accepted into this scheme will receive €225/ ha on the first 15 hectares and €180/ha on the remaining hectares. This will work out as €150 per cow on the first 22 cows and €120 per cow on the remaining cows.
The scheme was developed around five main mandatory actions that farmers need to be aware of throughout the five-year period.
It is important that farmers are aware of these actions before signing up for the scheme and the increases that will occur in these annual targets.
How can Herdwatch help you?
Herdwatch is a livestock management app that eliminates paperwork and allows farmers to make better decisions around their livestock.
Due to the mandatory actions that farmers must adhere to within SCEP, Herdwatch will be able to help you monitor your breeding records, ensure full compliance with ICBF and Bord Bia and enable farmers to record weights all from their pocket.
ICBF Compliance Made Easy
Herdwatch ensures that farmers are ICBF compliant with just a few taps on their mobile phones.
By clicking on the blue DNA symbol within an animal’s profile, farmers can view their animals’ star ratings within their herd.
This information is seamlessly imported from the ICBF database and readily accessible on the app.
With these records at hand, farmers can quickly evaluate their animals’ performance and make well-informed decisions regarding bull selection.
Such efficiency not only saves time but also empowers farmers to plan for future breeding decisions, including which cows to breed and which replacement heifers to retain.
Effortless weight recording
Herdwatch simplifies the recording of weights for calves and cows within the SCEP scheme.
Farmers can easily record weights using the app and access detailed weight reports in the management section.
This feature proves particularly useful for SCEP participants, as tracking weights is essential for meeting the scheme’s requirements. Additionally, farmers can also record the body condition score (BCS) of their breeding cows and heifers within the app, providing valuable insights into the health and well-being of their animals.
Buy and Sell with Ease
SCEP farmers can leverage Herdwatch’s ad listings feature to streamline the buying and selling of animals. The app displays verified ads from the local area, allowing farmers to conveniently browse through listings.
By incorporating Herdwatch into their SCEP participation, farmers can optimise their livestock management processes, reduce paperwork, and benefit from streamlined decision-making and compliance.
The app’s functionalities align perfectly with the requirements of the SCEP scheme, empowering farmers to successfully navigate the five-year programme while improving the environmental sustainability of their beef farming operations.
If you would like to make your SCEP journey easier, join over 18,000 farmers using Herdwatch today by getting in touch now and save up to 3 hours a week on paperwork!
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