BEEP Scheme: IFA calls for extension to November 1 deadline

Calls have been made for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to extend the November 1 closing date of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) Scheme.

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) president Joe Healy has called on Minister Creed to provide additional time for suckler farmers to weigh and submit their details under the BEEP Scheme.

As part of the scheme, animals will qualify for a €40/cow payment on each cow-calf weight recorded.

Healy said: “The volume of records being submitted to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) under the scheme has increased in recent weeks, with up to 35,000 records being submitted weekly.

A major push is needed from all concerned in order to maximise the number of respondents weight recording.

“The closing date needs to be extended and a strong promotional drive initiated at farm level through e-mail, text and telephone so as to maximise the response,” Healy said.

He said: “It makes real sense to extend the closing date for the submission of weights under BEEP. Farmers will be able to the maximise funding under the scheme.

Every set of weights recorded will add to the valuable data base in ICBF which will help drive further genetic gain and environmental progress.

Under the scheme, all suckler calves (beef sire x beef dam) born from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 and their dams must be weighed.

Calves must be weighed before they are weaned and cows and calves must be weighed on the same day.

Weights must be submitted to the ICBF database within seven days of the animals being weighed on farm.