Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (785)

Peter Burke


785. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the specifications in place for the BEEP scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44237/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme (BEEP) aims to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality date on herd performance, supporting decision making on the farm. BEEP targets the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves through the collection of live weights of cows and progeny in the herd of each participant.

Participants cannot guess the weight of animals under the Pilot - animals must be weighed on the participant's holding on a set of scales registered with ICBF as part of the Pilot. Animals must be weighed individually and on the same day and the data submitted to ICBF within 7 days. All weights must be submitted before the 15th November 2019.

There are two options available to herd-owners for the recording of weight data as part of BEEP. These are: (i) a Rental model, whereby participants rent scales from an approved field service agent to undertake the BEEP weight recording process, or (ii) Owned, borrowed or using a third party service providers’ scales. This is where a farmer can use their own scales or one belonging to a third party. These scales will have to be pre-registered with ICBF as per the Terms and Conditions of the Pilot.

Inspections in relation to BEEP are being undertaken. This is to ensure that data submitted under the pilot is accurate. These controls can include the verification of privately owned scales, the breed of the animals involved in the pilot and the accuracy of weights submitted.

Payments have commenced to BEEP participants who have completed the weighing and submission of data in respect of all of their eligible animals. Further payments will be made in the coming weeks as more participants complete the required actions under the Pilot. Final payments are scheduled for early December 2019.