For many beef farmers, weighing cattle has become commonplace in recent years whether for a farm's own use or in accordance with a scheme for payment.

Since 2019, when the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme (BEEP) scheme was first introduced, and with the subsequent BEEP-S in more recent years, the Irish Cattle Breeding Society (ICBF) has recorded 3,178,272 cow and calf weights from the Irish suckler herd.

As well as this, 174,644 Dairy Beef Calf scheme weights have been logged since 2021.

This huge bank of data feeds into both the replacement and terminal indexes to improve the reliability of these and allows farmers to make more informed decisions.

For beef farmers, weight is the number one performance indicator and so measuring this through weighing animals is key to profitable production systems.


The next step should be to gnomically-test the entire herd so that these weights can be 100% accurate when attributed to certain sires, breeds and bloodlines.

2022 weigh schemes

For farmers signed up to this year’s BEEP-S or Dairy Beef Calf scheme, all cow and calf pairs or calf weights (diary-beef) must be carried out and recorded with ICBF by 1 November in order to be eligible for payment.