The deadline for application for BDGP II is fast approaching. The scheme which is available to beef suckler farmers who are not already members of the original BDGP scheme will close for application on Monday 8th May 2017. BDGP II will, like the original, commit to six years of payments to farmers for completion of actions aimed at delivering accelerated genetic improvement in the national herd and improvement of its environmental sustainability.

The department (DAFM) are not offering an application form for download as was the case when the scheme first opened in 2015. Instead, farmers who wish to apply are invited to contact the Department by phone on 076-106 4423 or email [email protected] to request a form, which they will receive with some of their information already filled in. Farmers can also apply online through, where the BDGP section is now live.

If you wish to check the star-rating status of your animals and you are thinking of applying for this scheme, you can contact HerdPlus on 023 8820452 or [email protected] to get an overview of where you stand currently with regard to star-ratings.

  • BDGP II will commence in 2017 and run until 2022.
  • Payment – Payment will be made at the rate of €142.50 for each of the first 6.66 hectares of eligible forage area and €120 on the remaining eligible forage area. The eligible hectares on which an applicant is entitled to claim will be equal to the number of calved cows on his/her holding in 2014 (known as reference animals) divided by a standard stocking rate of 1.5. This is subject to a limit which is set by the eligible forage land declared by the applicant on his/her 2014 SPS application.

Participants must complete 6 actions:

  • Requirement 1Calving details

Register all new born calves within 27 days of birth, provide sire number and complete survey relating to calving ease.

  • Requirement 2Surveys

Complete a range of surveys relating to the calves, cows and bulls in the applicant’s herd.

  • Requirement 3 Genotyping

Genotype all of the animals specified by the ICBF. Each year, the number to be genotyped will be equivalent to 60% of the number of reference animals on an applicant’s holding in 2014.

  • Requirement 4 – Replacement strategy

Stock bull – At least one stock bull on the holding on 30 June 2021 must be a bull that has been genotyped 4 or 5 star on either the Terminal or Replacement index and this, or a similar 4 or 5 star bull, must be retained on the holding until 30 June 2022.

Applicants are strongly advised to introduce 4 or 5 star bulls at the next replacement date to avoid compliance difficulties

AI –When using AI, at least 80% of the AI used must be from 4 or 5 star bulls on the Terminal or Replacement index. This applies from 30th June 2018.

Leased bulls – Where it is the practice of the applicant to lease a bull, he/she must notify the Department by 30 June 2018 of his/her intention to do so during the course of the scheme. Specific conditions apply – see T&C’s.

  • Female replacements – Applicants will be required to ensure that a percentage of his/her heifers/eligible Suckler cows are genotyped females that are:

(i)  4 or 5 stars on the replacement index (see T&C’s for specific conditions).

(ii)  at least 16 months old and (iii)  born in 2015 or later if not in the herd by the closing date for application.

The number of heifers/eligible suckler cows meeting these requirements on each holding on 31st October 2020 must be equivalent to 20% of the number of the applicant’s reference animals (established based on 2014 stocking levels) and on 31st October 2022 must be equivalent to 50% of the applicant’s reference animals.

  • Requirement 5Carbon Navigator

Applicants must complete a carbon navigator with an approved advisor before 31 October 2017 and provide data for it to be annually updated. This is a tool which estimates the potential green house gas reductions and financial savings that could be made on each farm.

  • Requirement 6Training

Applicants must attend a training course relating to this scheme before 31 October 2017.

Case Study


Padraig McLoughlin runs a 23 cow suckler to weanling system in Co. Leitrim. In this short video clip Padraig goes through his herd’s targets for the BDGP and what he plans to do to meet those targets.


The scheme has been open for applications since Wednesday 19th April with a closing date of Monday 8th May 2017. Further details on the application process can be got by contacting the Department’s offices in Portlaoise on [email protected] or 076 1064423.

For further information please click on image below