The 31 October is an important date on the farming calendar as it marks the deadline for completing tasks and submitting records under a number of farm schemes and is also important for farming practices under the Nitrates Derogation. These milestones are highlighted below.
Movement of organic fertilisers
Farmers availing of a Nitrates Derogation and exporting organic manures must record movements by 31 October 2021. These movements must now be recorded online and this can be carried out by farmers or agents authorised to act on their behalf.
The system can be accessed via the Department’s Agfood.ie facility through the N and P statements portal. The Department have developed a user manual and video providing a step-by-step account of how the system works and this can be found at the following address, https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c9563-rural-environment-sustainability-nitrates/#nitrates-records.
For farmers not availing of a Nitrates Derogation the deadline for recording information is 31 December 2021. The Department of Agriculture advises farmers that there are three measures that can be taken to avoid exceeding the nitrates limits of 170 kg/ha (or 250 kg/ha for derogation holders). These include renting additional lands, reducing stock numbers and exporting slurry/farmyard manure.
Applying farmyard manure
The last day permitted for spreading farmyard manure (FYM) is 31 October with the prohibited application period starting on 1 November.
The same rule applies across all zones and to farmers in Northern Ireland. The opening period for spreading FYM begins on 13 January in Zone A counties, 16 January in Zone B counties and 1 February in Zone C counties and in Northern Ireland.
Farmyard manure cannot be field stored during the prohibited application period. It can only be stored under a roof or on a concrete slab/dungstead where run-off can be collected.
Beef Data and Genomics programme
The female replacement target for 2021 was rolled over from the much-discussed target in 2020, ie herds must satisfy a requirement of having at least 50% of the applicant’s reference number of animals genotyped as eligible heifers/suckler cows on 31 October 2021.
To be deemed eligible, animals must be genotyped females that are:
Participants in BDGP II are in a midway position and should be looking forward to satisfying the targets in October 2022.
Participants can follow their eligibility status at www.icbf.ie. This can be accessed by clicking on the "Reports" tab on the menu at the top, selecting BDGP from the dropdown options and then clicking on "Eligibility 2021".
Follow the instruction and select "Click Here". This will detail information on the female replacement target, the stock bull target and the AI requirement. The female tab will list all females in your herd aged over 16 months on 31 October and confirm if they qualify or not.
Weighing and submission of weight records for BEEP-S
The Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme-Sucklers is identical to that which was in operation in 2020. Eligible cow-calf pairs must be weighed and weight records submitted to ICBF before 5.30pm on Monday 1 November.
There is a potential payment of €90 for the first 10 cow-calf pairs in the herd and up to €80/pair thereafter up to a maximum of 100 head. Mandatory weighing will reap a return of €50/€40 for each weight recorded for calves born between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
While the option of meal feeding or vaccination of calves commands a payment of €30 per calf with the final €10 payment triggered through faecal egg testing of suckler cows for liver and rumen fluke. The scheme must be applied for through the Department’s agfood.ie facility.
An issue highlighted by ICBF is weights being recorded on a small number of farms where scales have not been registered. On some of these farms scales were registered for the 2020 programme but it is important to note that scales must be registered again for the 2021 programme year.
Scales can be registered through your ICBF portal. Note you will need the make/model of the scales, the year of purchase and the serial number to register the scales. Where a scales is being borrowed then the owner of the scales will receive a text when it is used for weighing by a third party.
Weights can be recorded online through the ICBF website, ICBF weight recording app, farm software and any third party applications linked to the ICBF database.
Where recording weights online through a computer or app is not an option, you can submit weights through paper forms which can be posted on request by calling 023- 883 2883. Hardcopy forms can also be printed of the ICBF website to facilitate easier recording.
Dairy Calf Beef Programme
The 2021 pilot programme, which has over 8,000 participants, offers a payment of €20 per eligible calf weighed with a maximum payment of 20 calves or €400/head.
Participants in the scheme must weigh a minimum of five eligible calves with weights submitted to ICBF. Weights should be submitted within seven days of weighing and no later than 1 November 2021.
Weights must be received by 5.30pm on 1 November if submitted by any of the recording options including the ICBF website, ICBF weight recording app, farm software and any third-party applications linked to the ICBF database.
Eligible calves are those born on or after 1 January 2021, a male calf of a dairy breed, and/or a male or female calf sired by a beef breed sire born to a dairy breed dam. Calves must be at least 12 weeks of age at time of weighing, in ownership of the applicant and registered on the holding on which weighing takes place for a minimum of 10 days prior to weighing.
TAMS tranche 23
Tranche 23 of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme closes for applications on 5 November 2021. Tranche 24 will open on 24 November and will remain open until mid-January.
Investments under tranche 23 will be costed at the higher rate introduced following the Department’s review of TAMS costings which was carried out in light of a significant increase in the cost of building materials.