The deadline for submitting calf weights under the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) is closing in on farmers who have yet to input figures.

The closing date for submitting weights is tomorrow, Friday, November 1. Applicants under the scheme were allowed to make submissions from March 8 last.

According to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), weights must be submitted to the ICBF database within seven days of the animals being weighed on farm.

This, the federation says, must be done via paper forms or online.

Under the €20 million scheme, participants are eligible for payment of up to €40 per calf, payable once data has been submitted successfully.

The aim of the pilot is to increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality data on herd performance, supporting decision-making on farm.

Open to all suckler farmers, the scheme required calves born between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, to be eligible.

Calls for extension

Earlier this week, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) called for an extension to be granted for weight submissions.

Making the calls to the minister, ICSA president Edmond Phelan said:

“We are getting a lot of calls from our members who are panicking because they cannot arrange to get the weighing done before the Friday, November 1, deadline.

There are still in the region of 200,000 cow/calf units to be done. Getting all of these weighed and the information uploaded in a few days will prove unattainable.

The president noted that many farmers do not want to weigh weanlings until close to weaning time – which is only around now in the case of spring-born calves.