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Carbon Navigator Requirements for BDGP

09 October 2017
Type Media Article

By Sinéad Devaney, Teagasc Adviser, Galway/Clare Regional Unit

The Carbon Navigator is an online farm management package produced by Bord Bia and Teagasc. It measures environmental gains that can be made on farm by setting targets in key areas. For example length of grazing season or spring application of slurry. It is compulsory for all participants in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) to complete a Carbon Navigator with their Advisor in the first year of the programme. The terms and conditions of the BDGP also require that this Carbon Navigator is then updated each year by the farmer.

Updating the Carbon Navigator - Farmers who signed up to BDGP in 2016 and completed their BDGP training course in 2016 already completed their first Carbon Navigator last year. When first completing the Carbon Navigator, this was done by a Department Approved Advisor. In 2017 these same farmers must now update their Carbon Navigator with information in respect of the 2016 calendar year. This update can be completed online by the farmer or on a Carbon Navigator Form, which was posted to all farmers at the end of September. Either way the information must be supplied to the Animals Events section of ICBF by Tuesday, 31st October 2017.

A very useful help sheet was enclosed with the Carbon Navigator form. It explains how to submit the required information online on the ICBF website.  If you have lost your password details you can receive your password either by texting PASS to 089 4577663 or by emailing query@icbf.ocm or by phoning 023 8832883.

The information required to be updated includes both the housing and turnout dates for Suckler cows and yearlings/other cattle. However if the farmer is out wintering animals there is an option to tick 100% out wintering. Nitrogen usage and concentrate usage for 2016 for the beef enterprise is also required. The fertiliser or meal used by other enterprises on the farm are not included e.g. for sheep. There is an example given for converting the Nitrogen in a compound fertiliser to the CAN equivalent. Slurry management is the final requirement. Record here the percentages spread in spring, summer and autumn of 2016 and tick which method was used. Keep a copy of what is recorded on the form for your own records. That completes the Carbon Navigator update for farmers in their second year of BDGP.

If any farmer has concerns about the accurate completion of the data required they should contact their Teagasc Adviser or Agricultural Consultant to seek assistance. The Carbon Navigator Update should be completed as early as possible this month so that it can be submitted to ICBF before the end of October.

New BDGP participants in 2017 - These farmers must complete a full Carbon Navigator for the 2016 calendar year. A Department Approved Advisor is required to complete this at first, which the Department of Agriculture will pay for. The list of approved Advisors is available on the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie/beefschemes. This can be completed online by the approved Advisor on behalf of the farmer. It is advisable to book an appointment to complete this task. Your Adviser will ask you to provide details of the types and quantities of fertiliser used on the farm in 2016 and the quantity of meal fed also. It is important to state what other enterprises are on farm as the portion of meal fed to those animals e.g. to sheep will not be included in the Carbon Navigator for BDGP. In the same way the amount of land used by enterprises other than the beef enterprise and the fertiliser associated with those enterprises will also be excluded. The approved Advisor will be able to calculate this.

Points to remember

  • Closing date for both schemes are Tuesday, 31stOctober 2017.
  • An approved Adviser must complete the Carbon Navigator on behalf of the farmer in year 1.
  • Farmers in year 2 may complete the Carbon Navigator themselves either online or on the postal survey form.
  • The Animal Events helpline can be contacted on Locall 023 883 2883 or email bdgp@icbf.com for queries.
  • Contact your Teagasc Adviser or Agricultural consultant if you need assistance with updating your Carbon Navigator.