The Beef Data and Genomics Programme provides financial support to suckler beef farmers.
The BDGP provides a payment to suckler beef farmers who undertake to carry out actions aimed at improving the genetic merit of their suckler herd.
The original BDGP I scheme opened in 2015 and runs to 2020. BDGP II opened in 2017 and runs to 2022.
Those who enter the scheme commit to meet the full requirements for the 6-year period of the scheme. Those in the scheme must also comply with BVD Requirements annually.
The BDGP scheme aims to support the suckler herd by improving the genetic merit of the national herd through the collection of data and genotyping animals and to lower greenhouse gas emissions by improving quality and efficiency.
For the six-year duration of the scheme, farmers will receive a payment equivalent to €95 for the first 10 cows in the herd, and €80 for each remaining cows.
While farmers have to have suckler cows to get paid, the payment is calculated on a per-hectare basis. The number of hectares will be calculated using the number of eligible suckler cows producing a calf in 2014 divided by a stocking rate of 1.5. The per hectare payment rates are €142.50/ha for the first 6.66 ha and €120/ha for the remaining eligible hectares.
Payments will be made by mid-December each year
Each calf must be tagged and registered with the Department within 27 days of birth. The sire details for each calf must be registered and a calving survey must be completed.
Surveys and Data
Surveys must be completed each year relating to calves, cows and bulls recording aspects such as docility, quality, milking ability, as well as some animal health issues such as scour and pneumonia.
ICBF will select animals to be genotyped each year and tissue tag samples will be required from the selected animals. The number of animals genotyped each year will be at least equivalent to 60% of the number of calved suckler cows on the farm in 2014. Genotyping costs will not exceed 15% of the value of the scheme.
Applicants will be required to maintain a proportion of high genetic merit animals on their holding as detailed in the Terms and Conditions for the Scheme.
Farmers have to complete a carbon navigator on the farm, and this will be updated in each subsequent year. The first carbon navigator must be undertaken with the help of an approved advisor – the Department will cover the cost of the advisor.
Applicants will have to attend specific training courses related to the scheme – €166 will be paid to cover the cost of training.
Animals must be tested for BVD within 20 days of birth. Farmers must comply with BVD Requirements annually and PI animals must be removed.
All those in the BDGP scheme may be subject to compliance checks annually. Inspections will be carried out on at least 5% of beneficiaries. Notice of inspection may be up to 14 days.
The scheme has a detailed penalty schedule based on a breakdown of the specific requirements and allocated payment in each area.