A new pilot dairy calf to beef weighing scheme is expected to be introduced as part of Budget 2020. Some €10m will be allocated to this scheme.

It will pay out €10/calf for each calf that is weighed on beef farms.

One- to two-year-old dairy calf to beef animals on these farms will also qualify for a €10/head payment. This payment will be made on dairy HO/FR male calves and dairy beef calves.

The above fund means enough funding has been allocated to cover 500,000 calves under one year old and 500,000 one- to two-year-olds.

Overall, €85m has been set aside for agriculture in the budget, with €45m dedicated to the BDGP (star rating) scheme.

Some €40m has been set aside for targeted supports which the Irish Farmers Journal understands includes the dairy calf to beef weighing scheme, a vaccination scheme and the unrolling of a Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) 2 scheme.

Vaccination programme

The Irish Farmers Journal understands there is a €10m allocation for a new animal health scheme which will involve the vaccination of calves and/or weanlings.

Farmers will get €20/calf as part of the vaccination programme.

The funding would allow for up to 500,000 animals.

This scheme is likely to only recover costs associated with vaccination, however it should benefit the health of calves and reduce costly pneumonia incidences on farms


The Irish Farmers Journal also understands that the Minister for Agriculture has allocated €20m as part of the budget to roll out BEEP 2 in 2020.

The scheme requires that farmers weigh suckler cows and calves, with weights logged on the ICBF database.

The scheme paid €40/cow and currently has enough money allocated to cover 500,000 cows.