Tag issues are creating log-jam in BDGP scheme
Ongoing delays in issuing genotyping tags for the BDGP scheme are causing major problems for suckler farmers, it has been warned.
The IFA's livestock chair Angus Woods said it was the third year of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme and the Department of Agriculture and the ICBF needed to resolve the issue of sending tags late.
However, the Department stated the test tags in the scheme designed to improve the genetic merit of suckler herds have begun to be issued and all tags will have been sent out by the week beginning April 23.
Mr Woods warned the issue was impeding the efficient operation of the scheme on farms.
"The delay in issuing tags is creating problems for many suckler farmers with fragmented holdings wishing to run their operations in an efficient manner," said Mr Woods. "Not having the tags on time, before the animals go to grass, is creating an extra and avoidable workload on farmers. In addition, farmers wishing to sell stock expected to have the tags on farm at this stage."
A spokesman for the Department said there are multiple providers of the tags for the first time this year and each BDGP participant was offered the opportunity to nominate their tag supplier of choice.
"If a BDGP participant has sold, or needs to sell, an animal that has been selected for genotyping before s/he has received the genomic test tag for that animal, it is open to him/her to subsequently nominate a different animal for genotyping at no extra cost to the participant," it stated.
A series of workshops are due to be held to help farmers ensure they have enough four or five-star animals in their herds to meet the 20pc female replacement criteria required by October 31, 2018.