Basic Payment Scheme Application

With recent good weather and lots of field work being completed, office work can lag behind. Make sure to submit your BPS application online by the closing date of Wednesday 15 May.

Leave time to get passwords etc in case you get locked out. Don’t leave things until the last minute. If you are unsure as to how to get the application completed, the advice is to contact an agricultural consultant or a Teagasc adviser straight away.

Even if you are unsure of what land you have, the important thing is to get the application in and make amendments later.

Purchased animals

If you are purchasing animals in the mart and you suspect them to have a heavy worm burden, avoid using an ivermectin based product straight away. Ivermectin based products can lead to a very fast kill, and the stress of coughing up dead worms can lead to pneumonia issues.

White drenches and levamisole type drenches have a much slower kill rate and will be easier on the animal. However, these products do not have the same residual cover as ivermectin based products.

A simple dosing programme would be to dose on arrival with a white drench/levamisole drench, and then dose with an ivermectin based product two weeks later. This should then provide cover for 4-6 weeks.

Taking faecal samples is a cheap way of determining whether you need to dose or not. Talk to your vet about getting them analysed, and use the results to formulate a dosing plan for your farm.

Animals that have been indoors with no exposure to worms shouldn’t receive a dose at turnout. You are better to leave these cattle at grass for a few weeks and then bring them in to dose them.


Breeding has started on many early spring calving farms around the country. Some farmers are using AI for a few weeks at the start of the breeding season to try and breed replacements, then using a terminal stock bull for the rest of the season.

If using AI, good heat detection is extremely important to get good conception rates. Table 1 outlines the importance of conception and submission rate to high six week in-calf rates.

Tail paint, vasectomised bulls and taking time to heat detect are all very important in achieving high conception rates.

There is also a number of different technology providers providing aids to heat detection, although some of these can be cost prohibitive on smaller herds. Best results will be achieved using the AM/PM rule (cows seen in heat in am are bred in pm and cows in heat in pm are bred in am).