In the coming weeks, most farmers will need to be aware of some key actions and dates in relation to guaranteeing this year’s Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP)payment.

BEEP has become a substantial part of the farm support package on drystock farms.

The payment is worth €90 on the first 10 cow/calf units and €80/cow/calf unit on the next 90 cows.

This is broken into €50/pair for the first 10 weighings with €40/pair for the next 90 weighings.

Optional action one, which is either meal feeding or vaccination, is paid at €30/pair up to 100 cows while optional action two (faecal sampling) is paid at €10/pair up to 100 cows. On a herd of 30 cows, it is worth €2,500.

It’s important that key actions are completed within the required time frame in the next few weeks.

These actions will include pneumonia vaccination for some people and for others it may include weaning and feeding concentrates prior to selling the weanlings.

Meal feeding needs to begin four weeks before weaning and continue for two weeks after weaning.

Table 2 outlines sample dates.

The Department of Agriculture does not require notification of meal feeding. However, if you have an inspection you will be asked to provide meal dockets to show proof of purchase of meal during the required time.

This is to ease the weaning process and reduce stress levels around weaning and to try to minimise any outbreaks of disease like pneumonia. If the vaccination option is chosen you need to consult with your vet as to what option suits your farm. You can choose between a one- or two-shot programme depending on what strains of pneumonia you are vaccinating for. Faecal sampling must be completed before 1 October, with one sample being taken for every 10 cows in the herd.