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Key SCEP dates approaching

Key SCEP dates approaching

Farmers participating in the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) need to be aware of two upcoming dates. The first occurring on February 15 relates to the completion of survey data on the calves and suckler cows; the second relates to the 2024 SCEP reference number.

In SCEP, the survey information is split into two parts and each account for 10% of your overall SCEP payment. Part one of this survey information relates to information recorded when registering the calf and records factors such as calf sire, calving difficulty, birth size and calf vigour.

Part two focuses on the following areas: Calf Quality; Calf Docility, Dam Docility; Dam Milk Ability; Dam Mothering Ability; Dam Feet and Legs; Dam Teat Score; and Dam Udder Score. You can also record the Dam Departure reason for information purpose.

The information on Calf Quality and Calf Docility can only be recorded once the calf reaches five months old. There is a requirement in this ‘Action 5 Calving Details and Surveys’ under SCEP that all calves born in the herd must be maintained on the holding for at least five months. If you submit less than 80% of the required data in the scheme year, you will not get paid for that entire action. If you record between 80-100% of the required data there will be a proportionate reduction based on the percentage of data submitted.

Closing date for submission of traits for Part One and Part Two is February 15 annually. Data will not be accepted after this date. So for calves born in Scheme year 1 (1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023), their data must be submitted by February 15, 2024.

There are three ways to record the survey data:

  • Farm software providers;
  • The ICBF website at: icbf.com - click on the services tab and click on SCEP tab;
  • Paper-based survey forms are available to be printed down from the ICBF website.

SCEP reference for 2024

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) recently advised that SCEP participants can now amend their 2024 yearly reference number through their Agfood account. This facilitates famers who wish to alter their commitments under the programme requirements to meet their individual needs or changing circumstances. The window to amend 2024 yearly reference numbers is open until 23.59hrs on 19 February 2024.

Any changes made to the 2024 reference number (either increases or decreases), DAFM stated, will have an associated impact on the requirements/actions to be carried out by the participants and on the maximum payment that the participant will be eligible to draw down later in 2024. Once an application to amend the 2024 yearly reference number is submitted online, no amendments can be made.

Also read: Further flexibility granted for SCEP herds

Also read: Knowing the worth of full compliance under SCEP

Also read: Chasing cost reductions through breeding – the role of the updated Replacement Index