Farmers who have signed up for the Scottish Government’s Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) have been given an extra two weeks to submit their calving data.
A government spokeswoman said that while timely submission of calving data was critical to the success of the suckler herd improvement scheme, the government was committed to working with industry.
“Therefore we are allowing beef farmers accepted into BES the additional time required to review and upload dam and calf data onto the BES database on the ScotEID website,” the spokeswoman added.
“The sampling of calves for genotyping is a compulsory element of the scheme and the revised administrative deadline must be met by beef producers so that genotyping tissue tags can be issued thereafter without undue delay.”
The new deadline for data is July 31.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) welcomed the extension but urged farmers and crofters not to delay in supplying the data.
The union’s livestock committee chairman, Charlie Adam, said it was important that the extension didn’t lead to a delay in notification for which calves are to be tissue tested.
“We know of a small number of applicants who have had problems uploading information, and we have relayed this back, but the majority, including myself, have had no problems in doing so. NFUS recognises that some of these problems have been resolved by Scottish Government but we understand that there are others that are still being looked at.” he said.
“We have put a number of suggestions to Scottish Government as to how the scheme can be improved, including adjustment to allow for a payment on animals in expanding herds and new herds; extending the payment from three years to five years; tissue testing tags to be on farm by the end of August; and clear and proportionate penalties, and will continue to communicate with officials on the scheme.
Farmers who are having problems with BES applications data input are advised to contact their local Rural Payments and Inspection Division’s Entitlements and Payments office.