Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme
The aim of this programme is to provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability and genetic merit of their herd.
The scheme aims to build on the improvements brought through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP).
It is proposed that this new scheme will entail of four mandatory actions all of which will have to be undertaken by the applicant in each year of the contract. The four actions projected for the programme are a Replacement Strategy Target, a Genotyping Programme, a Weighing Requirement and a Data Recording Requirement.
The replacement strategy will cover both the Dams and the Sires.
In years 1 and 2, 80% of the calves born on the farm must be sired by a 4-star or 5-star sire. In years 3 and 4 this will increase to 85% while in year 5 it will increase to 90%.
On the Dam side, in year 1, at least 50% must be at least 4-star on the replacement index on 31 October 2023. This rises to at least 65% by 31 October 2025 and at least 75% by 31 October 2027.
All calves born on the holding must be genotyped and this must equate to at least 70% of the reference animals on the holding.
The Suckler Cow and Calf pair will have to be weighed before the calf is weaned and not before the calf is at least 100 days old. The Cow and Calf weights will then have to be submitted to the ICBF each year.
Data Recording Requirement
Farmers will have to provide a collection of data through animal events records and surveys. The data will be required for Calves including ease of calving, quality and docility etc.
For Cows data on their milking ability and docility, and for Stock bulls, docility and functionality, culling reasons will be recorded.
Farmers will be required to complete a mandatory training course in each of the first two years of the scheme i.e. 2023 and 2024.
It is planned that a higher rate of payment of €150 per cow will issue for the first 10 suckler cows in a herd with a payment of €120/cow applying subsequently up to the budget limit.