In-spec bonus payments: Farmers should familiarise themselves with the in-spec bonus payment structure. The new categories and payment bands have been in place for 12 months but some people find they still take getting used to. Grass cattle are coming fit so it is important to be familiar with the different bands.

There is a €0.20/kg in-spec payment on steers and heifers under 30 months grading from O= to U+ on conformation and from a 2+ to 4= coming from a quality-assured farm, with a final 60-day residency period and a maximum of four farm residencies. The animal must have a total residency period of 70 days on a quality-assured farm, so the previous farm must also have been quality-assured. Steers and heifers under 30 months and grading O- or 4+ and meeting other in-spec criteria attract a payment of €0.12 /kg. Steers and heifers from 30 to 36 months old grading at least an O- and a fat score between 2+ and 4+ attract a payment of €0.08/kg provided all other in-spec criteria are met. It’s important to remember there are no weight limits attached to in-spec bonuses.