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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Temple

OPEN: Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme

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, by improving the genetic merit of the Irish suckler herd.


  • Must be Bord Bia QA by 16th of October 2023.

  • Participants must calf down 50% of their yearly reference number. The scheme year one commences on the 1st of July 2022, and runs until 30th of June 2023. At least 50% of the referenced number calved on the holding must be eligible calves between this period.


Action 1)

Eligible Bull or AI

In years 1 & 2, 80% of calves must be sired by a 4/5 star source. This increased to 85% in years 3 & 4, and to 90% in year 5.

AI and/or a bull can be used.

Action 2)

Female Replacement Strategy

By the 31st of October 2023, atleast 50% of the yearly reference number of females should be 4/5 stars.

By the 31st of October 2025, at least 65% of their yearly reference number should be 4/5 stars.

This figure increases to 75% by 31st of October 2027.

Females should be at least 16 months old.

Action 3)


Applicants will be required to take a tissue tag sample from animals selected for genotyping. ICBF will select animals to be genotyped, and will notify herdowner of animals selected.

This will be 70% of the yearly reference number.

Action 4)


Farmers must weigh at least 80% of animals born on the holding and submit to ICBF.

The calf must be a minimum of 50 days old and dates should be recorded within 7 days of weighing.

Only registered scales can be used.

Action 5)


Farmers must submit surveys in relation to a variety of data, including calving ease, dam mothering ability, etc.

Applicants must also attend two training courses related to the scheme. This must be completed by the 15th of November 2024.


Provided that all requirements are met, there is a payment of €225 for the first 15ha, and €180 thereafter up to the maximum payable area.

Applicants will be presented with the best three years from 2016-2021 and will receive the average of these 3 years as a reference number. The reference number can be set by the applicant at the beginning of the scheme, this number can be reduced if needed later in the scheme, but cannot be increased.

No amendments to a farmers reference number will be accepted after the SCEP applications in year 1, or January deadline in years 2-5.

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