In January of this year, I launched the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP), with a funding provision of €20m in 2019. BEEP targets the weaning efficiency of suckler cows and calves - measuring the live weight of the calf pre-weaning as a percentage of the cow's live weight. BEEP had been announced in Budget 2019 as part of the €78m Brexit package for the agri-food industry. As well as clear environmental and climate benefits, BEEP will provide additional farm income at a time of market volatility and uncertainty relating to Brexit.
Some 19,131 farmers registered their interest in participating in the Pilot and they will qualify for payment provided they comply with the requirements to weigh each cow and calf and provide the requisite data to ICBF in accordance with the Terms and Conditions. The €20 million funding available will allow for payment of up to a maximum of €40 per calf.
Some 476,432 calves were registered to these 19,131 herds in the relevant period. 223,753 of these have weights recorded under BEEP to date. Payments to participants who have completed the requirements under the Pilot are scheduled to commence in the coming months.