Deadlines for the 2022 BDGP scheme are approaching fast. The average payment per farm under the 2021 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

Sixty per cent of the reference number of animals need to be genotyped in 2022. 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. You should have received a text message from the ICBF if all samples have been sent back. Payment will be delayed if all the required genotyping is not carried out.

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 will be published next week, so you will know where you stand if you log in to your account.

There are currently 500 herds in the country that 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 is issued in December.

Carbon navigator

A 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 done 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.

The BDGP will be replaced by the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) in 2023.

A lot of the requirements for the new programme will remain similar to the old BDGP scheme, with a higher requirement of 75% genotyped four- and five-star females in participating herds by the end of the SCEP.

The weighing element from BEEP-S is being included in the new programme along with a genotyping requirement.

One of the new aspects of the 2023 scheme will be the requirement for all participants to be a member of the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme (SBLAS).

At the moment farmers who wish to apply for this scheme in 2023 must be an approved member of the SBLAS prior to joining the new SCEP.