New €35 million BEEP suckler scheme to open tomorrow

The application process for the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – BEEP (Sucklers) – for 2020 will open as of tomorrow, Thursday March 12, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced.

BEEP (Sucklers) – which has a funding provision of €35 million in 2020 – will target the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves, measuring the liveweight of the calf at weaning as a percentage of the cow’s liveweight.

In recognition of the important role of animal health and welfare in economic and environmental efficiency, participants in the programme will also be encouraged to implement a number of optional health and welfare measures, according to the department.

If programme participants complete all of the mandatory and optional actions available, they will be eligible for a payment of up to €90 for the first 10 suckler cow/calf pairs per herd, and up to €80 per pair thereafter, subject to an overall maximum of 100 pairs per herd.

Programme actions are one mandatory weighing action and two optional actions, according to the department.

The mandatory weighing action will amount to a payment of €50/pairing for the first 10 cow/calf weighing per herd, with €40 per cow/calf weighing thereafter.

This action measures the ratio of calf weight at weaning to maternal weight, enabling farmers to readily identify their most economic and environmentally efficient suckler cows in their herd, the department explains.

Meanwhile, €30 will be paid for an additional welfare action, with a choice of either a vaccination programme or a pre-weaning meal feeding programme. This action will improve the health and welfare of suckler calves at weaning time.

Finally, €10 will be paid for a further option – participation in a faecal egg testing programme. This action is targeted at the control of liver and rumen fluke in adult suckler cows, improving animal health and welfare.

Applications must be made online and the application window will remain open until Friday, May 15, 2020.

Terms and conditions of the programme are available on the Department of Agriculture’s website here.