The Department of Agriculture has set aside €1,150,000 to acquire weighing scales which farmers can rent to weigh suckler cows and calves under the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme that opened for applications on 4 February.
The scheme requires farmers to weigh suckler cows and unweaned calves to determine weaning efficiency.
Farmers who own their own scales can use it to weigh their animals
A payment of €40 is available for every calf weighed.
As part of the pilot, a rental scheme will be rolled out across the country to provide access to scales for farmers who do not have their own set.
Farmers who own their own scales can use it to weigh their animals, but it must be pre-registered with the ICBF beforehand.
A website to register scales will be made available by the ICBF in early March.
It is estimated that 400 scales will be required for the rental scheme, with provisions for an additional 100 scales if there is high demand.
These scales will be distributed to locations nationwide and available for rent for a fee, envisaged to be less than €50/day.
Details on when and where these scales will be available for rental has yet to be published, but the Department has said they will be available before 8 March when farmers can begin submitting weights.
It is also understood that scales will be available from central locations such as marts or co-ops.
The €1.15m for the scales was included as part of the Department’s capital allocations under the programme for farm supports and controls, which has a total budget of €159m for 2019.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed detailed the components of the programme in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen.
Farm finance: BEEP scheme now open for applications
Apply for new suckler cow BEEP scheme – IFA