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How to get a grant for a cattle weighing scales

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Cattle crushes are just one piece of equipment that can be applied for under TAMS II

Cattle crushes are just one piece of equipment that can be applied for under TAMS II

Cattle crushes are just one piece of equipment that can be applied for under TAMS II

Farmers can avail of significant grant aid under the TAMS II scheme with a cattle weighing scales platform included as one of the eligible investments.

TAMS II offers grant aid of 40% for certain on-farm capital investments (60pc to ‘Young Farmers’).

The areas identified for funding over the period of the scheme are: farm nutrient storage, animal housing, dairy equipment, low emission spreading equipment, animal welfare and farm safety, pig and poultry investments, and organic capital investment.

Eligibility

The Scheme is open to farmers who:

  • have a minimum of 5 hectares owned and /or leased or rented that have been declared under the Basic Payment Scheme or equivalent in the year of application or preceding year  or in the case of intensive enterprises, generate a minimum of 20 production units from farming
  • have a Department identifier.

Eligibility of applicant where holding is owned/leased by a legal person

An application may be accepted in the name of a legal person provided that legal person satisfies the eligibility criteria at 3.1.

A copy of a company’s Companies Registration Office Certificate and Memorandum and Articles of Association must be submitted in support of the application.

The Application Process

Applications must be submitted online through agfood.ie. Applicants who wish to apply online or through their agents must first be registered for online services (OLS) with the Department.

Instructions for registration can be found online at www.agfood.ie or you can contact agfood online services helpline in the Department’s Portlaoise office Locall 1810252118 or 0761 064424 or email agfood@agriculture.gov.ie

Where the Department identifier is registered in multiple names, applications submitted quoting the identifier are deemed to be submitted with the consent of all registered owners, e.g. in the following cases

  • Where the Department identifier is registered in more than one name i.e Joint Herd number
  • In the case of Partnerships, by all Partners
  • In the case of companies, by the Company Directors.

‘You can't manage what you don't measure is an old but very true saying’

It is very common on beef farms in Ireland that from the day animals are bought/born to the day they are sold or slaughtered the owner has no idea of the exact weight or performance of the animals.

As part of the Teagasc Green Acres programme all the participating farmers are weighing their cattle a minimum of three times throughout the year.

These weighings are targeted at turn out, mid-season and around housing. Last week I caught up with Michael Flynn, one of the participating farmers, to discuss how weighing has benefited him.

Having slaughtered the first batch of his Hereford steers two weeks ago at 21 months of age we looked back at the weight gains and performance of these animals.

The first weighing since joining the programme took place on August 3, 2015 and calves at that time weighed an average of 203kg. The calves were grazing in groups of around 50 at the time.

By doing this weighing and knowing the exact weight of his calves Michael could rest at ease that these animals were performing well and on course to be slaughtered before their second winter.

Knowing this allowed Michael to carry more animals, as he was confident that enough steers would be slaughtered before housing and he would have adequate accommodation for the remaining animals.

The animals were weighed again on November 2 around housing and came in at an excellent weight of 300kgs. Michael could now design a winter feeding programme based on this information.

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The steers were fed good quality silage and 1.5kg of meal over the winter.

They were weighed again on March 16 at turn out and having done an average daily gain of 0.75kg they weighed an average 400kg.

From the weights Michael knew that his animals were well on target for a November slaughter date and they were rotationally grazed on good quality grass with no meals for the second grazing season.

Michael weighted his cattle again on July 25, 2016 where they averaged 556kgs and it was from this weighing that he was able to select out the heaviest 30 to be pushed for finish. Being able to do this meant that he was feeding the most advanced animals and wasn't feeding animals high levels of meal that were quite a bit away from finishing.

The 30 steers were introduced to concentrates on August 20 and having been on concentrates for 50 days, Michael decided to weigh them again on October 12, at this stage they averaged 687kg.

They were slaughtered on November 11 at an average carcass weight of 376kg.

The importance of weighing at key stages over the lifetime of the animal was emphasised by Michael in that it allowed him to make better informed decisions about the management of his stock at a number of critical times during the year, thereby maximising performance.


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