Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP)

The Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) scheme is now closed as of May 22nd, 2023.
Information last updated May 22nd, 2023

All details are taken from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine ‘Schemes & Payments’ section located here.
Please check this section for the latest information and updates relating to Farm Schemes & Payments.

What is the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP)?

SCEP is an agricultural scheme which aims to provide support to beef farmers to improve the environmental sustainability of the national beef herd. The programme aims to build on the gains delivered in recent years through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd.

How to Qualify

To qualify, you must:

  • be aged 18 years or over on date of submission of the application for participation
  • be the holder of an active herd number with Herd Owner Status. Herd Keeper status is not acceptable
  • be farming a holding in respect of which a valid BISS application is submitted to the Department on a yearly basis and on which all land parcels are declared
  • be a member of SBLAS before 16th October 2023 and have continued participation for the duration of the programme
  • calve at least 50% beef breed animals of the yearly reference number between scheme year 01 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 and every scheme year thereafter
  • attend the SCEP training course and an animal handling course by 15th November 2024

Rate of Payment

The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine will make payment directly to the applicant’s bank account. Payments will be made on a per hectare basis subject to a maximum payment which is calculated as follows:

  • the number of eligible suckler cows producing an eligible calf on the holding in the years 2016- 2021 inclusive. The applicant will be presented with the best 3 years of 2016-2021 and will receive the average of these 3 years as a reference number. This reference number will be divided by 1.5 to give a maximum payable area (MPA). For example, a farmer with a reference number of 10 will have an MPA of 6.66 hectares
  • the programme reference number must be set by the applicant at the beginning of the programme. They can accept the reference number presented at time of application or can reduce it down. It cannot be increased
  • provided that all requirements of the programme are met, payment of €225 for the first 15 hectares and €180 for the remaining hectares up to the maximum payable area will be made
  • in order to avail of the full payment, an applicant must have at least enough determined eligible forage hectares under their BISS application each year to match their MPA. If the determined eligible forage area is less than the MPA but 80% or above, the payment will be based on this eligible forage area

How to Apply

  • applications for SCEP can only be submitted using the Department’s online facility through either by the applicant themselves or by an approved FAS advisor authorised to act on their behalf. Applicants not already registered for the Department’s online services will need to register first at
  • the application opening date is 20th March 2023
  • the application closing date is 23:59pm 22nd May 2023 with late application deductions to payments at a rate of 1% per working day in respect of SCEP as set out in the Terms and Conditions. Applications after the 25 days period will not be accepted
  • this deduction will only apply to the first year of the programme (2023)

The Programme’s 5 Main Actions

Action 1 – Eligible Bull/Eligible AI
Action 2 – Female Replacement Strategy
Action 3 – Genotyping
Action 4 – Weighing and Submission of Weights to ICBF
Action 5 – Calving Details and Surveys
(A) Calving Details
(B) Surveys
Full details of the specific requirements under each of the actions are set out under in the SCEP Terms and Conditions.

Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) Terms and Conditions

Screen Guide for Individuals on how to submit SCEP Application

Screen Guide for Agents on how to submit SCEP Application

SCEP Information Sessions

Link to Recorded SCEP Online Information Session Tuesday 4th April

Online Information Session Tuesday 4th April at 7pm


Beef Scheme Section (SCEP)
Address: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Buildings, Old Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois, R32 RPA6
Email: [email protected]
Phone number: +353 (0) 57 8674422