A potential beef industry resilience and development support package
Scottish beef improvement database
The central point for the entire program would be the establishment of a national cattle database and the ability to feedback information to farmers and their advisors. A suitable framework for integrating data from several sources e.g. Farmers, Markets, Abattoirs, Veterinary Surgeons, is required and Scot EID may be one such resource.
The farmer would receive a payment per animal registered with the database. The goal is to be able to start collecting information on the entire life cycle of animals. An entry level and advanced level scheme could be envisaged.
An entry level scheme would require producers to enter a basic level of information beyond the statutory requirement when a calf's birth is registered with the national cattle database. This extra data should at a minimum include information on the sire, dam temperament and calving ease. Further payments could be made at key times during the animal's life by providing for example 200 day weight, 400 day weight and slaughter weights and grades to whomsoever owns the animal at these key times. An enhanced level scheme could incorporate genetic ( DNA) data and animal health data.
Beef Improvement Development Programme ( KTIF)
A development programme could be envisaged where by producers come together into a knowledge exchange group. A necessary qualifying criterion would be enhanced level data recording and the package would include 4 days per year for three years of off farm knowledge exchange and planning based on the use of data from the national database at industry and business level and the latest scientific/technical developments.
Agri-Environment-Climate Measure for Productive Agriculture and the Environment
Complementary measures to support actions to improve business and environmental sustainability could include:
- Support for animal health monitoring including blood testing and disease eradication programmes with results submitted to the national database. This would improve animal health and animal efficiency leading to reduced carbon impact per kilogramme of beef produced.
- Support for capital investment in monitoring infrastructure, e.g. weigh crates, digital technology provided the information collected is shared with the national database or incorporated into business development plans.