The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) recently launched the 2021 Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot – Suckler (BEEP-S) scheme under the new Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot. This scheme also sees the addition of a new €5m dairy beef calf programme. With a funding provision of €40 million, farmers must not assume that they are signed up for this year, they must reapply.

Dairy Beef Calf Programme

According to Teagasc, the new Dairy Beef Calf Programme aims to support the decision making on farms through better quality data on herd performance and to increase the economic and environmental efficiency of beef from the dairy herd. It also hopes to further integrate the dairy and beef sectors by providing support for farmers who are rearing progeny from the dairy herd.

Male calves of a dairy breed and a male or female calf of a beef breed sire born to a dairy breed dam are eligible for the Dairy Beef Calf Programme. The main task in this programme is the weighing of calves. For eligible calves, the payment is €20 per animal. Farmers can submit a minimum of 5 and maximum of 20 calf weights to the ICBF. Calves must be at least 12 weeks old (before after 1st January 2021) and in the herd at least 10 days. Weights must be registered within 7 days before 1st November 2021 and only registered scales must be used.


Similar to last year, BEEP-S 2021 has both compulsory and optional actions. It is mandatory to separately weigh each unweaned calf and its dam and submit weights to the ICBF within 7 days. Calves born in the herd between 1st July 2020 and 30th June 2021 willbe eligible for the programme. Calves and their dam must be weighed on the same day and only scales registered in accordance with the scheme terms and conditions may be used. Farm Relief Services provide registered scales. For the action of weighing, farmers who are approved can receive €50 for the first 10 calf/cow pairs and €40 for the remainder up to a maximum of 100 pairs/herd for submitting weights.

What is involved

For action 2, there are two options. The first option involves the farmer introducing meal feeding for a period of 4 weeks pre-weaning and 2 weeks post weaning. The aim is to reduce the stress on calves at weaning time. The second option involves the farmers implementing a vaccination programme for respiratory diseases, in particular, for pneumonia. Farmers should seek advice from their local veterinarian for a suitable vaccination programme. For both options, farmers must keep a record of all actions taken.

Action 2 is optional, but farmers must select their intentions at the time of application. If they do not carry through, penalties will apply. Farmers undertaking either of the above actions can receive €30 per calf weighed for meal feeding or €30 per calf weighed that was vaccinated, maximum of 100 calves.

The third action is also optional and involves faecal egg testing of weighed cows. To carry this out, at least 10 different fresh faecal deposits should be collected from a clean pen. Store separately in a zip lock bag and send on the day of sampling. Samples must be submitted to an approved laboratory on or before 1st November 2020. Samples will be checked for liver and rumen fluke. It is recommended that animals be dosed accordingly. With a maximum of 100 cows, farmers will receive €10 per cow for faecal egg testing.

Applications close soon

For BEEP-S and the Dairy Beef Calf Programme, applications are open until midnight on 26th April 2021. Farmers can apply online through their DAFM Agfood account by clicking on the Beef Sector Efficiency Programmes tab. We recommend for farmers to contact their Agricultural Adviser should they have any queries regarding the process.

Book your scales

Farm Relief Services provide a nationwide Weighing Technician Service for the BEEP-S scheme. Contact your local FRS office to book your weighing in. Visit for more information.

Farmers can easily report weight to ICBF by using Herdwatch. The farming app automatically sends weight records to ICBF which means farmers will get the benefit of better reporting from ICBF. Herdwatch is fully approved by ICBF to provide this integration free of charge to members. For more information visit

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