Today, 21st March 2024, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., announced the opening of a new support measure for dairy farmers producing calves destined for beef production. The Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme (DBWS) has a budget of €25 million over four years and is co-funded by the EU as part of the CAP Strategic Plan. It comes as part of implementing the recently published ten-point Action plan to support the development of a dairy-beef sector in Ireland.

The DBWS is a breeding measure that supports farmers using genotyped and genetically superior beef sires to breed dairy beef calves. Participants will be required to use AI straws or stock bulls with a minimum rating of 3 stars on the ICBF Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and the beef sub-index of the DBI. Farmers who satisfy the scheme requirements will receive a payment of €20 per eligible calf up to a maximum of 50 calves per holding.

The objective of the DBWS is to incentivise the use of genetic tools to improve the merit of progeny in the beef from dairy herds. Breeding with high DBI index sires has established progeny performance benefits as measured by their Commercial Beef Value (CBV). The scheme supports using the DBI to produce calves with higher CBVs.

The full terms and conditions of the new DBWS are available here.

Commenting on the opening of the measure, ICBF CEO Sean Coughlan said:

“ICBF welcomes this innovative scheme as it will help produce better quality beef from the dairy herd. The DBWS will enhance integration between the dairy and beef sectors, securing future profitability, sustainability and carbon efficiency of the national herd.”

Applications for the DBWS can be made through The closing date for applications is 15th May.

For more information on the Dairy Beef Index click here.

For more information on the Commercial Beef Value click here.