Frequently Asked Questions Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP)

The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) in relation to the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP).

Q. When do I have to weigh my animals?

A. Weights must be recorded from 8th Mar to 1st Nov 2019. Having weighed the animals on farm,
weights must be submitted to the ICBF database within 7 days of the weighing event.

Q. What is the optimum time to weigh a suckler cow and calf?

A. The optimum time to weigh a cow and her calf is when the calf is between 150-250 days (5-8
months) of age. Calves must be weighed before they are weaned. Table 1 details the optimum date
ranges to weigh calves born throughout the BEEP year (1st Jul 18 – 30th Jun 19).

Calves born between Optimum weighing period
1st Jul 2018 – 30th Sep 2018 8th March 2019 – 30th April 2019
1st Oct 2018 – 31st Dec 2018 1st May 2019 – 31st July 2019
1st Jan 2019 – 31st Mar 2019 1st May 2019 – 31st July 2019
1st Apr 2019 – 30th Jun 2019 1st Sep 2019 – 31st Oct 2019

Table 1. Optimum date ranges to weigh suckler calves born throughout the BEEP year.

Q. Do I have to weigh all my animals on the same day?

A. No, all BEEP eligible animals do not have to be weighed on the same day. You do, however, have
to weigh a cow and her calf on the same day.

Q. Can I weigh a cow and her calf on different days?

A. No, each cow/calf pair must be weighed on the same day.

Q. Where a cow has twins, do I have to weigh both calves?

A. Payment will be made on each cow/calf pair weighed. A cow with twins is seen as two cow/calf
pairs. If the cow and only one twin are weighed, you will only be paid for one cow/calf pair. If the
cow and both twins are weighed, you will be paid for two cow/calf pairs.

Q. How will I weigh my animals?

A. Animals must be weighed on-farm using a weighing platform and indicator/clock. The platform is
placed in a cattle race (crush) and animals are weighed singly as they pass over it (see Picture 1).

Picture 1. Suckler weanling standing on a weigh platform for weight recording.

N.B. When weighing animals please ensure that they are free standing on the platform. Do not
stall animals in a sculling gate or use a rump bar/anti-backing gate as this will result in inaccurate
weights.

Q. Can I weigh animals in groups e.g. weigh a group of animals in a trailer on a weighbridge?

A. No, animals must be weighed singly using a weighing platform in a cattle crush. Weighing must be
carried out on your farm. Mart weights or any other weights recorded off-farm, will not be accepted
for BEEP.

Q. Can I use my own weighing scales?

A. Yes, you can use your own scales and record the weights yourself. The weighing scales must be
registered with ICBF before you submit weights.

Q. How do I register my weighing scales?

A. This can be done by logging into the ICBF website (www.icbf.com) with your username and
password. Under the ‘Services’ dropdown, select ‘BEEP’ and then select ‘View/Register Own Scales’.
Here you enter the:
– Make/model of the scales
– Year of purchase
– Serial number
Scales must be registered before weights are submitted to ICBF. Where weights are submitted
without a scales registration number you will not be paid.

Q. If I don’t own a weighing scales, how will I weigh my animals?

A. Where you do not own a scales you have a number of options to obtain one.

– Rent a scales through the BEEP network – The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine
(DAFM) has made funding available to distribute scales throughout the country for farmers to
rent for the purposes of BEEP weighing. Scales can be booked online through www.mybeep.ie.
The cost of renting a scales will be €50 per day. You will find a map at the end of this document
showing all of the locations where equipment is available to rent

– Borrow a scales – Using a borrowed scales (e.g. from a neighbour) is acceptable for BEEP
weighing. You must ensure that the owner of the scales has registered it with ICBF and that
they supply you with the registration number to submit with your weights. If you submit
weights from an unregistered scales, you will not be paid.

– Hire a weighing technician – This is where a technician brings the equipment on to your farm
and weighs the animals. You must ensure that the technician is using a registered scales and
they supply you with the registration number to submit with the weights. Please note, that
where you are using a weighing technician, it is your responsibility (not the technician’s) to
submit the weights to the ICBF. If you don’t submit a scales registration number for the
technician’s scales, you will not be paid. Any technician service which you may avail of is private
and is not provided through the BEEP network.

– Rent a scales from a third-party – This is where you rent a scales outside of the BEEP network.
You must ensure that the owner has registered the scales and that they supply you with the
registration number to submit with the weights.

N.B. Where you use a scales outside of the BEEP rental network, it is your responsibility to ensure:

– That the scales are in safe working order. There should be no sharp edges or any other
features that could cause stress or injury to the animal.

– That the scales are properly calibrated. Placing something with a defined weight on the
scales is good practise to ensure it is giving an accurate weight e.g. a bag of meal, bag of
fertilizer, etc.

– That you retain documentary evidence of the lease/rental of a scales. This will need to
include names, scales registration number, date of rental and signatures. You will be
required to present this if inspected.

Q. Where can I rent a scales?

A. Scales will be made available for farmers to rent from the BEEP network (www.mybeep.ie).

Q. If I rent a scales through the BEEP network, do I have to register it?

A. No, scales rented through the BEEP network does not need to be registered by the farmer.

Q. How do I submit weights to ICBF after weighing my animals?

A. You have a number of options to submit weights to ICBF:

– ICBF website – You can record weights through a desktop/laptop computer through
www.icbf.com. Under the ‘Services’ dropdown, select ‘BEEP’ and then select ‘Record
Weights’.

– ICBF Weight Recording App – ICBF has launched a new weight recording app for Android
and Apple phones. This is free to download. Once downloaded you can access your animals
by entering your ICBF username and password.

– Farm Software – Weights recorded through a farm software package/app will be acceptable
for BEEP. It is your responsibility to ensure that the weights transfer from the software
provider to the ICBF database.

– Paper Forms – Where recording weights online through a computer or app is not an option,
you can submit weights via paper forms. These can be posted to you on request by calling
ICBF on 023-8832883. Alternatively, you can login to the ICBF website and print off forms.
Under the ‘Services’ dropdown, select ‘BEEP’ and then select ‘Weight Recording Form’.
Where you are printing forms yourself, please print them one-sided. Do not submit weights
on forms that have been printed two-sided.

Q. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that weights are successfully
submitted to ICBF?

A. In all instances it is your (the farmer’s) responsibility to ensure that weights for your animals are
recorded properly and submitted to ICBF within 7 days of the weighing event. This is especially
relevant where you are availing of a technician service.

Health and Safety

Health and safety should always be of paramount importance when weighing animals. Safe and
secure handling facilities and a platform of suitable quality should be used to avoid unnecessary
stress or injury to both the farmer and the animals.

Biosecurity

If you are renting/borrowing/lending a scales, you must ensure that they are power-washed and
disinfected after use to help prevent the transmission of disease from farm to farm. This is especially
critical for the BEEP rental service, where the ability to operate a low-cost rental service with scales
available every day, is directly dependent on participants returning the scales clean and disinfected.

If you have any other questions in relation to BEEP, please contact ICBF on 023-8832883 or
email beep@icbf.com. Alternatively you can contact DAFM on 076-1064423 or email
beefschemes@agriculture.gov.ie.

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