Minister’s move to upgrade stars of certain BDGP bulls welcomed

The “simplification” to some of the requirements for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) has been welcomed by the livestock chairman of a farm lobby group.

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) national livestock chairman, Angus Woods, has welcomed the recent announcement from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, which is intended to “simplify” requirements for the scheme.

Woods explained that the flexibility provided for farmers in relation to the stock bull requirement in the programme is “helpful and in line with some of the requests put forward by IFA on this issue”.

He noted it was requested that farmers who purchased a bull which was not four or five star at purchase, but has subsequently been upgraded by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) to be four or five star, be accommodated.

Furthermore, he said that the lobby group also called for farmers who purchased four or five star bulls, believing them to be such, but these bulls were not genotyped to also be accommodated under the scheme.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed it will accommodate these changes.

Woods said that farmers who have bulls on the farm that will be upgraded to four or five star over the next year – automatically on the ICBF’s BDGP database as a result of their genetic evaluation improvement – must also be accommodated.

He described Minister Creed’s commitment that his department officials will be in contact with herd owners over the coming days – who they have identified are not yet meeting the requirement – as “important”.

Concluding, Woods said: “Flexibility by the department regarding implementation and interpretation of the scheme at farm level is key to providing the maximum opportunity for farmers to meet the requirements.”