The number of animals weighed as part of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme has now topped 40,000, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said.

Weighing started on 8 March and 10,000 records have been added in the past three weeks.

The number of scales available to farmers has increased, with over 2,000 privately owned scales now registered with the Department of Agriculture.

"Last week, I welcomed the start of the roll-out of rental scales to over 70 ICOS-affiliated livestock marts and co-ops across the country. This will see some 400 sets of scales being made available to rent from these locations," said Minister Creed.

The €20m scheme will pay farmers up to €40 per calf weighed along with their dam after weights are sent to the ICBF.

The minister provided the information in reply to a parliamentary question from independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath this week.