The Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers to submit survey and trait data under the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), to unlock maximum payments in mid-December. As detailed in Table 1, record-keeping and event recording make up 20% of the annual SCEP payment.

Farmers have until 15 February 2024 to submit such data, but delaying recording beyond the end of November will mean that payment on that action will not take place until a later date. Where between 80% and 100% of the required data is submitted, then a proportionate reduction based on the percentage of data submitted will apply.

However, if less than 80% of the required data is submitted, then a 10% penalty will apply. This is calculated on the sum of money attributed to the action and it is important to note that it will be reimbursed if the required data is submitted by 15 February 2024.

Payment example

This is clearer to understand if we work through the following example. A farmer due to receive a payment of €3,000 under SCEP will receive €600 for action five, record-keeping and event recording. If data is submitted when scheme payments are being processed at the end of November, then the €600 payment will be included in the overall sum.

If, however, there is insufficient data recorded, then the €600 payment will be withheld, plus there will be a 10% penalty, amounting to €60, imposed. If the farmer subsequently records the required data by the deadline of 15 February 2024 then the €600 payment will be sanctioned and the €60 penalty will be reimbursed. If the data is not submitted by 15 February 2024 then the 2023 payment for this action will be lost and the 10% penalty will still stand.

The sooner information is recorded the better, in terms of ensuring maximum payments are sanctioned when payments commence in mid-December.

Genotyping action

While on the subject, it is also important to note that any outstanding genotypes must be submitted by 30 November 2023.

It is also crucial that where less than 90% of the required number of genotype samples are returned in year one, then there will be no payment on that action (ie worth 20% of overall payment), plus a 10% penalty will be imposed. This penalty is calculated on the value of the action.

Where farmers require replacement samples, they must call ICBF on 023-8832883.

Female replacement targets

A small number of herds which did not satisfy the 50% female replacement target on 31 October 2023 continue to work towards the new deadline of 24 November 2023.

Herds will only be afforded this opportunity if they returned all their samples to the lab by 31 October and they are awaiting genomic results.

Herds working off the new date must have the required number of animals in their herd on 24 November 2023. The female replacement target can be easily checked via your ICBF login, by clicking on the SCEP eligibility profile.

This is a useful resource to also keep track of the number of calves born and sire targets.