Letters are currently issuing to all participants in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) urging them to submit all genotype samples and surveys by December 8 so that payment can be made in the current year.

Payments will commence in December to all eligible applicants and subsequent payment runs will continue as applicants provide evidence of compliance.

Some 7,000 farmers have yet to return tissue samples for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, according to the ICBF.

It says there has been a rapid increase in the number of tags coming in, primarily because farmers are starting to house their animals because of all the rain, in recent weeks.

“All the animals are coming in and are easy to tag,” Sean Coughlan of the ICBF told a hearing of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture this week.

While he said the cut-off dates by which farmers must have their samples returned is the realm of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

His understanding is that there is no cut-off date for payment.

“I am not sure of the exact date of the payment in December but if it is December 10 or December 12 and if the information is not in at least a week before that, it will not be processed in time to be through for payment,” he said.

Coughlan said the payment will not be made if the samples are not in.

As part of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme participants will be required to take a tissue tag sample from animals selected by the ICBF.

ICBF will select the animals to be genotyped in each herd and will notify the farmer of the animals to be tested.

Farmers need to have 60% of the reference animals (number of suckler cows calved in 2014) available each year to be genotyped.

If an animal has died or is sold before the sample tags are received the farmer must immediately contact the Department’s Beef Scheme Section or the ICBF to request a test kit for a substitute animal.