IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to introduce a new Suckler payment of €60 per cow from 2014. He said this is a positive development for the beef sector and follows an intensive campaign by the IFA over the last 12 months.
Henry Burns said the Minister has provided an additional €23m for the new suckler scheme and, together with the €10m Beef Data Recording funding, it will bring total payments to suckler farmers to €33m for 2014. At a rate of €60 per cow, this level of funding will provide for payments on 550,000 suckler cows.
The IFA Livestock leader said the details of the requirements on participating farmers are not fully clarified at this stage but will involve DNA sampling and genotyping 15% of the herd.
Henry Burns said it is very important that the Department of Agriculture and ICBF get buy-in from suckler farmers and do not impose significant additional cost as a result of expensive genotyping requirements. “It’s not acceptable that payments secured and intended for farmers would be siphoned off through costs or used other than to support farm income.”
Henry Burns said the new suckler scheme provides an essential element of the national support necessary for our important suckler herd and can now be built on as part of the CAP implementation going forward in 2015. He said IFA has made it very clear to Minister Coveney that there must be strong support for vulnerable sectors in the new CAP from 2015, including a strong suckler cow payment.