Deadlines for the 2021 BDGP scheme are coming up.

The average payment per farm under the 2020 scheme was €1,700, so it’s an important part of income supports.

There are a number of requirements for the scheme outlined below.

Complete all items in good time to guarantee payment without any delays.

Recording calving details

Farmers must have recorded the sire of all calves born on the farm and include a calving score for each calf.

  • Genotyping animals: 60% of the reference number of animals need to be genotyped in 2021. This means if you get paid for 20 cows, you need to genotype 12 animals this year.
  • These can be male or female and the ICBF sent out tags earlier this year for genotyping purposes. Tags should be returned to the ICBF as soon as tagging is complete. If animals selected for tagging have been sold, tags for replacement animals can be ordered from the ICBF.

  • Completing surveys: Surveys need to be completed on calving difficulty, calf vigour, health incidences, weanling quality, cow milkability, stock bull docility and functionality and reasons for culling. These can be filled out on paper and posted to the ICBF or completed online via your Herdplus account on
  • Four and five stars: Participants are required to have 50% of the reference number of females in the herd genotyped four or five stars on the replacement index by 31 October. Heifers must be 16 months or over on 31 October to be eligible. Details of the last evaluation run before 31 October were published this week, so you will know where you stand if you login to your account. There are currently 500 herds in the country who are falling short of this requirement.
  • Payment rate: The payment rate is €142.50/ha for the first 6.66ha, with the remaining eligible forage land paid at €120/ha. The eligible number of hectares you are entitled to claim on is calculated by dividing the number of cows that calved on your holding in 2014 by 1.5, up to the limit of the declared forage land on your BPS application. Once all the scheme requirements have been met, payment issues in December.
  • Carbon navigator: A fully completed carbon navigator must be completed on the ICBF website annually. This covers areas such as grazing season length, fertiliser use and method of slurry spreading. If the carbon navigator hasn’t been completed yet, it should be completed as soon as possible.
  • Stock bull requirements: For applicants using a stock bull, at least one animal on the holding must have been a genotyped four- or five-star bull on 30 June 2021. Where AI was being used, at least 80% of the AI being used on the farm must have been from four- or five-star bulls on the replacement or terminal index.