IFA National Livestock Chairman, Brendan Golden said the key message from the Jim Power report on the beef sector is that CAP payments to beef farmers must be increased to offset the damage done to the sector since decoupling.
He said the next Minister for Agriculture must insist that direct payments to beef and suckler farmers are increased in the next CAP to address the income crisis at farm level.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said the report also outlines the devastating impact of CAP cuts in the form of budget cuts, decoupling, modulation, convergence and other cuts on the incomes of livestock farmers.
He said Power points to Teagasc research which shows that in the top one third of Teagasc Profit Monitor farms for sucklers, the direct payments/premiums per hectare from 2008 to 2017 has fallen by €156 per hectare or 24%.
For non-breeding or fattening farms, the direct payments/premiums per hectare has fallen by €374 per hectare or 45%.
On the impact of CAP reform, Power concludes, “Direct payments are of critical importance to suckler farmers, but these payments have only increased marginally in nominal terms since 2005. This has been detrimental to suckler farmers, which in turn has been bad for beef producers in general, but for the West of Ireland in particular, where suckler farming is very important”.