Up to date news from the Beef Efficiency Scheme Team

Claiming for your BES commitment in the 2017 Single Application Form (SAF):

  • to claim for this scheme you must complete a Single Application Form (open from 15th March to 15th May) and indicate that you wish to continue your commitment for the Beef Efficiency Scheme
  • you must also claim enough Basic Payment Scheme hectares to activate your continuing commitment
  • in order to apply for your Beef Efficiency Scheme continuing commitment, a tick box has been added to the online SAF submission. This can be found under the 'Contracts and Continuing Commitments' section
  • to apply using the blank base form; a tick box has been added to Section 5, entitled 'Existing Contracts and Continuing Commitments'

If you have any further questions relating to the administration of the Scheme, please email the mailbox –besmailbox@gov.scot – please provide us with your Main Location Code and Business Registration Number (BRN) when requesting information.

Beef Efficiency Scheme – updated key information

The Beef Efficiency Scheme Team have learnt a lot since the first round of animals for tagging was made available to producers from November 2016. Take a look at our updated 'Frequently Asked Questions' document which now includes information on the Role of Genetic Improvement in The Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES).

The list of animals selected as part of the second tagging round was made available to producers via ScotEID. Please remember that you have until the end of June to return these samples and also any samples you were asked to take in the first round.

If you haven't been able to tag all your animals at the one time - it's okay to store the ones you have done in a cool dark place until you tag the rest of the animals – but please remember not to leave it too long before sending.

Some producers have asked when they will receive more information regarding the carbon audit and the management improvements. These are both tasks that require to be carried out in the last five months of the second year of your contract.

Once the Advisory Services are in place, you will be contacted to arrange a one-to-one meeting with an advisor at a suitable date and time to complete your business' carbon audit.

This meeting will also assist you in identifying the best management improvement to make, as this needs to be agreed and selected by the end of the second year of your agreement.

In future years you will be informed when and where the group meetings will take place at the beginning of each year and you will have the opportunity to book one-to-one meetings.

Group meetings will help you select further management improvements using the information provided from the data recording genetic testing, and any further information supplied.

2nd tagging round

We have received some enquiries as to why we are asking for more animals from last year to be tagged.

The first selection made in November 2016, looked at calves born up to the first window and the second looked at all calves born up to the year-end not previously selected that were still on the holding. The selection rules did not include DOB (except that the calves had to be born in 2016).

Some of the considerations in the selection criteria were:

  • representative of breeds and crosses in Scotland
  • 70% female (for year 1) to allow for calves born early in the scheme to have dam performance records towards the end of the scheme
  • has calving data recorded and represents variation in the traits captured across the population

The selection aims to genotype a representative spread of all the calves recorded for the BES scheme. The time of calving was not included as one of the selection criteria as the timing of calving is not influenced by the genetics of the cattle.

The selection process will continue to be updated throughout the life of the scheme and your feedback will be taken into consideration for the next selection.

The aim is to tag animals on a holding once per year. Where you have an even spread of Spring and Autumn calves, we may ask you to tag twice to meet the 20% required to be tagged each year.

Last updated: 27 April, 2017