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Beef Environment Efficiency Programme-Sucklers (BEEP-S)

27 March 2020
Type Media Article

Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist

Objectives of the Programme:

  • Increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through improved performance data collection
  • Enhancement of the National Herd Dataset for genetic evaluations
  • Target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves through the collection of the live weights of cows and progeny
  • Improve the welfare of suckler calves at the time of weaning
  • Controlling liver fluke in adult suckler cows using FEC

Application Period
Application period is open until midnight on 15th May 2020
Application methods are as follows:
* Online using your Agfood.ie
* Get your Advisor/Consultant to submit it after you give approval to DAFM via text message. Once prompted from DAFM you must reply DAFM Y to the text.

In this video, Alan Nolan, Teagasc Mayo gives an overview of the Scheme as well as the terms and conditions

What animals are eligible?
All suckler calves (beef sire x beef dam) born from 1st Jul 2019 – 30th June 2020 and their dams.

Requirements of the Programme

Action 1 Weighing (Compulsory)

  1. All beef calves weighed must be born between 1st July 2019 and 30th June 2020
  2. Unweaned live calf and their dam must be weighed on the same day.
  3. Only registered scales can be used
  4. Weights must be taken between 1st January 2020 and 1st November 2020 and submitted to ICBF within 7 days.

Action 2 Meal Feeding or Vaccination (Optional)

Meal Feeding  of  calves for 4 weeks pre weaning and for 2 weeks post weaning
Recording of weaning dates, Retention of Meal  Receipts will be required.
Vaccination of Calves Pre weaning against PI3, RSV, Mannhaemia Haemolytica and IBR.

Action 3 Faecal Egg Testing Suckler Cows (Optional)

Fresh dung samples from suckler cows must be collected & sent to a DAFM approved lab to check for Liverfluke and Rumen Fluke. Samples must be sent to lab before 1st November 2020.
Results will then be used to determine dosing strategy.

What Scales can I use?
You have two options available for weighing.

  1. You can rent a set of scales from an approved field service agent ie participating mart/co-op. Scales can be rented out for a daily charge and a facility will be available to book scales centrally. More details will be available on www.icbf.com or www.mybeep.ie
  2. Use owned/borrowed scales. All owned/borrowed scales must be pre-registered before weighing. ICBF will make a Tab available on their website to allow participants register their scales. Manufacturing details, indicator model and serial number of scales will be required. Once registered each scales will be issued with a unique BEEP scales registration number. Scales already registered in 2019 will not need to be registered again.

Payment Rates

ActionPayment Rate
Action 1 (Mandatory)
€50 for first 10 cow/calf pairs weighed - €40 thereafter to a maximum of 100 cow/calf pairs in total
Action 2 (Optional)
Can select one of the following:
Meal Feeding @ €30 per calf weighed to a maximum of 100 calves.
Vaccination @ €30 per calf weighed to a maximum of 100 calves.
Action 3 (Optional)
Can be selected in addition to Action 1 and/or Action 2
Faecal Egg Testing @ €10 per cow a maximum of 100

Why weigh Cows and Calves?
Two of the most significant traits in the Euro-Star Replacement Index are milk and cow liveweight. It is important to collect as much data as possible on these traits to ensure higher reliability Euro-Star Indexes. The milking ability of suckler cows is measured by the pre-weaning weight gains of their calves. Cow liveweight is measured by recording the weight of suckler cows post calving. Recording liveweights on both suckler cows and their calves will allow farmers to identify their most efficient cows as well as helping ICBF to improve the reliabilities of important traits in the Euro-Star Index. The optimum time to weigh a suckler cow and her calf is when the calf is between 5-8 months old (150-250 days)

Potential value of BEEP depending on Herd size

Herd Size  All Options €
(Actions 1,2 & 3)
Weigh Only €
(Action 1)
Weigh & Faecal egg Testing (Action 1 & 3)
20 cows €1,700 €900 €1,100
45 cows €3,700 €1,900 €2,350
100 cowa €8,100 €4,100 €5,100

Potential Penalty if Uncompliant - Action 2 will result in non-payment for that action and an administrative penalty of 50% of the value of the payment. So if you opt for action 2 it is important that  you are fully compliant.

Other points to Note 

  • No BEEP payment will be made unless all BVD (P.I.) Persistently Infected animals born prior to the 1st January 2020 have a date of death recorded on the Animal Identification and Movements (A.I.M.) system prior to the 31st March 2020.
  • As with all schemes a proportion of farms will be inspected under the programme particularly for Action 2
  • Normal calf tagging and birth regulations apply

Further information
Further details on the scheme including the terms and conditions can be found on the DAFM website www.agriculture.gov.ie/beep/