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BEEP S/Dairy-Beef  Calf Programme – (Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme-Suckler)

07 April 2021
Type Media Article

By Edward Webb, Teagasc Soil/Environment Advisor, Galway/Clare Unit

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers (BEEP-S) under the new Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot for 2021 was opened on Tuesday, March 16 by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). The BEEP-S programme, with a funding provision of €40m in 2020, will target weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves, by measuring the live weight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow’s live weight. It also contains elements to improve the welfare of the cow at weaning and control liver fluke in the adult cow. The programme is be open to all suckler beef farmers who commit to completing the mandatory action required within the duration of the programme, optional welfare enhancement actions are also available for additional support

In order to secure the full payment, the farmer must undertake 3 actions in the scheme. Action 1 is compulsory, followed by Action 2 and 3 which are both optional.

Action 1: Weigh Both the Cow and Calf Separately – Compulsory

As part of the mandatory section of the scheme, participants must weigh each unweaned calf and its dam and then submit the weights to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). From 1st May 2021, all weights should be submitted within seven days of weighing and no later than 1st November 2021.

Calves that are eligible for weighing must have been born between 1st July 2020 and 30 June 2021. The unweaned calf and dam must be weighed on the same holding on the same day.

Only scales that are registered and used in accordance with the requirements, may be accepted in the recording of weights for the scheme.

If you own a set of scales (either existing or new) and plan to use them (or lend them to another farmer) for the purpose of BEEP-S, then you must pre-register the scales before the weight recording event.

Farmers should note that scales previously registered with ICBF for BEEP in 2019 or BEEP-S in 2020 must be re-registered for this year’s programme. Weights must be submitted between 1st January 2021 and 1st November 2021.

Action 2: Meal Feeding or Vaccination for Pneumonia- Optional

There are two options within Action 2. You can only choose one and both carry the same payment. The first action involves meal feeding pre-weaning and post weaning.  Farmers must introduce meal feeding for a period of 4 weeks pre-weaning and 2 weeks post weaning to reduce the stress on calves at weaning time. The second action involves implementing a vaccination programme for respiratory diseases in suckler calves. Veterinary advice should be sought from your local vet for a suitable vaccination programme. Whatever option you choose, a record of all actions be it meal feeding or vaccinations administered must be kept.

Action 3: Faecal Egg Testing of the Cow-Optional

The second optional action involves the collection of dung samples for faecal egg testing to assess the presence of liver or rumen fluke.

All faecal samples collected must be fresh and samples submitted to an approved laboratory on or before 1st October 2021.

When collecting the samples, the cows should be placed in a clean pen until such time that a number of faecal deposits have been observed. If you have 10 eligible cows, all must be sampled. However, if only you have five eligible cows, you still must submit 10 samples as the lab cannot otherwise verify that you have met the conditions of scheme.

The payment for the BEEP-S scheme can be summarized as follows:

Action 1 (Mandatory) – Weighing €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.orVaccination @ €30 per calf weighed to a maximum of 100 calves.
Action 3 (Optional) – Can be selected in addition to Action 1 and/or ONE of the actions in Action 2. Faecal Egg Testing @ €10 per cow to a maximum of 100 cows.

For suckler farmers that are interested in participating in the BEEP-S scheme this year they are reminded that the closing date for applications is Monday, 26th April 2021. Farmers will need to reapply for this scheme even if they were previous participants of BEEP- S in 2020.

Applications for the Scheme can be lodged through agfood.ie. Farmers can also view the full terms and conditions of the scheme on that website.

A new €5 million Dairy Beef Calf measure has been announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the new Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot. The Programme is open to all farmers who commit to complete the mandatory actions required.

The criteria for an eligible calf are

  • Born after 1st January 2021
  • The dam must be a dairy cow
  • If the sire is a dairy breed only a male calf qualifies
  • If the sire is a beef breed a male or female calf qualifies
  • Must be at least 12 weeks old at weighing
  • Must be registered on the holding for a least 10 days before it can be weighed
  • There is no retention period for the calf after weighing
  • Has not had its weight recorded under the BEEP-S programme.



Interested farmers must weigh a minimum of 5 animals and the maximum to be paid is in 20 calves. The weighing scales must be registered with the ICBF and the weights can be entered within 7 days of weighing.

Teagasc Tuam will be holding a webinar on Thursday 1st April at 8.00pm. The main topics to be covered include

  1. Spring Herd & Flock Health- Conor Geraghty, Farmgate Veterinary Group, Mountbellew
  2. New BEEP S & Dairy Beef Scheme- Eddie Webb, Teagasc, Tuam
  3. New Organic Scheme/ BEAM issues & BPS- Glen Corbett, Teagasc, Tuam

To access this webinar please refer to https://www.teagasc.ie/news--events/national-events/events/teagasctuamwebinar.php