2016-06-24   facebooktwitterrss

Beef Efficiency Scheme Start Up Success

Almost 50 percent of Scotland’s iconic beef herd is likely to be enrolled into the ground-breaking Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) for its first year.

A last minute surge in applications has seen 179,000 beef cows from 2000 farmers included in the new five-year £45 million Rural Development scheme which looks to improve efficiency, sustainability and quality of the beef herd whilst helping producers increase the genetic value of their stock and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Whitebred Shorthorn & highland Cattle

With applications still to be processed, NFUS expects the final figure for cows in the scheme to be close to 50 percent of eligible animals. To be eligible, a beef cow must have had a calf registered on the ScotEID database in 2015.

Building on the initial success, the Union will press for a second round of applications to the scheme to be considered along with a call to increase the funding for the scheme, so that payments can be extended from three years to the full five-year term. Furthermore, the Union is keen to attract more small herds to participate and is seeking rule changes that allow the scheme to recognise expanding and new herds.

Speaking on the opening day of the Royal Highland Show, taking place at Edinburgh, President Allan Bowie said: “From a standing start, the Beef Efficiency Scheme will encompass around half of the eligible beef herd in Year One. That is an important step towards maintaining the premier league position of Scotch beef.

“But with half of the eligible herd yet to sign up, we are keen for the Scottish Government to make positive changes to the scheme, making it more attractive to all cattle farmers.

“We want to see more herds enrolled, the scope to bring in new farmers to the sector and the need for those who are expanding to be properly supported. To make the scheme more accessible to as many producers as possible, changes to the tagging options for those selling weaned calves should also be considered.

“There remains a job to do for all parties committed to making BES a success, including Scottish Government, in explaining all aspects of the scheme to existing and potential applicants. That said, this is a positive start.

“Scotch beef is the cornerstone of our red meat sector but we cannot be complacent. The measures looking at efficiency and genetic improvement are already on the radar of some of our major competitors, including the Irish.

“It is refreshing that so many Scottish beef producers have embraced BES, sending out a positive signal that our iconic beef sector is looking firmly to the future.”


Related Links
link Glimmer of Light at the End of Milk Price Tunnel
link New Company to Sell Semen Direct from the Stud
link NML Launches Johne’s Risk Assessment Tool
link Millington Limousin Herd to Disperse