IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed of a €1.5m grant aid support package for calf feeding systems.
“It’s an important first step in helping farmers take their share of the responsibility in managing larger numbers of dairy calves from next spring. Our dairy calf policy document Managing Dairy Calves identified the need to provide financial support for farmers to set up additional facilities before next spring,” Mr Phelan said.
“Farmers also need some guidance, advice and training on best calf rearing practice to optimise the value of their calves, and I would urge farmers to attend their local AHI dairy calf event in January,” he said.
“Calf exports must also be secured for next spring, and this must involve Minister Creed and his officials getting clarity from exporters, ferry companies and lairage operators to maximise access, and rigorously regulating transport and lairage bookings,” he added.
“For the medium to longer term, IFA has asked Minister Creed to also support the setting up of an Irish semen sexing lab to allow for the sexing of our top bulls in order to help farmers improve their breeding policies,” he concluded.