IFA President Eddie Downey this week welcomed the new Beef Data and Genomics Scheme, saying IFA lobbied hard to secure the annual funding of €52m. He said Minister Coveney must ensure that applications are sent out to all farmers immediately and there are no delays in processing so payments are made to suckler farmers by the end of this year, as promised.
Encouraging all suckler farmers to apply, Eddie Downey said this is a vital income support to maintain our valuable national suckler cow herd. He said the Minister must ensure the scheme is practical and that farmers do not incur unnecessary additional cost.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said this scheme is positive for suckler farmers with payments the equivalent of €100/€80 per cow for the next six years. He said the key message to suckler farmers is to make sure to apply for the scheme. He said applications will be sent to all suckler farmers and producers can also apply on-line. The closing date for the scheme is May 29th 2015.
Henry Burns said IFA has clearly outlined farmers concerns with some aspects of the scheme to Minister Coveney and particularly the costs farmers will incur to comply with some of the criteria under the scheme. In addition he said there is a high level of concern among farmers about the direction of the scheme on aspects of the breeding requirements. He said suckler farmers cannot be left in a position where they are required to comply with something that is very costly or not practical at farm level.
The IFA Livestock leader said it is essential that the genomics programme now being pursued under this new programme delivers for suckler farmers.