Teagasc is advising farmers if they have signed up for the Beef Data Programme (BDP) in 2013, then calves born from August 2013 until the end of December 2013 will have to have the necessary information completed on them throughout the first half of this year if they are to become eligible for payment.

“It appears at this stage that it could well be May/June before payments start to flow for calves deemed eligible in 2013. Calves born this year will be part of the 2014 BDP scheme year and if you sign up again in 2014 you will have the option of entering the new Beef Genomics Programme (worth €40/calf), which will also commence this year,” it said in its January beef update.

When registering the birth of calves again this year, Teagasc is also advising that farmers to enter sire details and calving ease as this information will be required.

“The other stipulation with the Beef Genomics Programme is that you have to be compliant with all the conditions of the BVD eradication programme in terms of testing and removal of persistently-infected calves and so on,” it added.

Teagasc is expected to have more details available on how both schemes will operate over the next few weeks but it is likely that application will issue from the Department later this month.

“Both schemes are well worth entering because of the obvious economic return of providing the information,” Teagasc added.

“There is, of course, a much larger long-term payback because the information provided by both schemes will be important in helping validate the Eurostar Indexes. Having a reliable index will be central in determining our breeding decisions into the future.”