6 actions new Genomics scheme applicants need to know

The second tranche of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme or BDGP2 will open for applications next week, the Department of Agriculture has announced.

The scheme, which has the potential to facilitate 5,000 entrants, will open for applications on April 19 and will close on May 8.

Participants in the new scheme can expect payments to be the same as BDGP1. This will mean that a payment of €142.50/ha will be issued for the first 6.66 payable hectares under the scheme.

Following this, a €120 payment will be issued per payable hectare after that.

To be eligible for payment, successful applicants need to complete six actions or requirements.

Requirement 1: Calving details

Farmers participating in the scheme will have to register all new-born calves within 27 days of birth, provide sire details and complete a survey relating to calving ease.

cow and calf

Requirement 2: Surveys

Farmers involved in the scheme are required to complete a range of surveys relating to the calves, cows and bulls in their herd.

bull with cows

Requirement 3: Genotyping

Successful applicants also need to genotype all of the animals specified by the ICBF, the Department of Agriculture has said.

Each year, the number to be genotyped will be equivalent to 60% of the number of reference animals on an applicant’s holding in 2014. The reference number of animals is based on 2014 stocking levels.

Requirement 4: Replacement strategy

Scheme participants also need to meet a number of requirements when it comes to the replacement strategy on their farms.

For farmers using a stock bull, at least one bull on the holding on June 30, 2021 must be genotyped four or five-star on either the Terminal or Replacement Index.

This animal, or a similar four or five-star bull, must be retained on the holding until June 30, 2022.

The Department advises farmers to introduce four or five-star bulls at the next replacement date to avoid compliance difficulties.


AI requirements

For herds using AI, at least 80% of the AI used must be from four or five-star bulls on the Terminal or Replacement index. This requirement applies from June 30, 2018.

Where it is the practice of the applicant to lease a bull, the Department said, he/she must notify the Department by June 30, 2018 of his/her intention to do so during the course of the scheme.


Female replacements

The Department has also said that applicants will be required to ensure that a percentage of his/her heifers or eligible suckler cows are genotyped females that are:

  • Four or five-star on the Replacement index (see T&Cs for specific conditions).
  • At least 16 months old
  • Born in 2015 or later if not in the herd by the closing date for application

The number of heifers/eligible suckler cows meeting these requirements on each holding on October 31, 2020 must be equivalent to 20% of the number of the applicant’s reference animals.

This increases to 50% on October 21, 2022.

Requirement 5: Carbon Navigator

The terms and conditions of the scheme also require farmers to complete a carbon navigator with an approved advisor before October 31, 2017 and provide data for it to be annually updated.

This is a tool which estimates the potential green house gas reductions and financial savings that could be made on each farm.

Requirement 6: Training

The Department also says that applicants must attend a training course relating to the scheme before October 31, 2017.

Further details on the application process are available by contacting the Department’s office in Portlaoise on: [email protected] or: 076-1064423.