IFA President Eddie Downey said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney will address an IFA meeting in Claremorris, Co Mayo tonight (Tues) on the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme. Eddie Downey said it will be opportunity for the Minister to hear firsthand the real concerns of farmers relating to the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme.
Eddie Downey said in every county public representatives have said they recognised the genuine concerns raised by farmers about aspects of the scheme relating to the inflexibility of the six-year rule and clawbacks, the 2014 reference year, young farmers, the 60% genomic testing, the replacement requirements, penalties and other issues.
“The Minister’s decision to extend the closing date to this Friday, 5th June and his presence tonight is an opportunity for him to re-assure farmers that they will not be unduly penalised and the scheme will not get bogged down in bureaucracy and excessive costs.”
Encouraging farmers to look seriously at the benefits of the Beef Genomics Scheme, Eddie Downey said farmers should ensure their application is submitted before the new closing date.
IFA lobbied Minister Simon Coveney and the Government hard to deliver the €52m funding for the sector and the Association is determined that the full benefits will be paid out to suckler farmers by December.
IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said that IFA had put forward proposals to the Minister and the Department to address the concerns of farmers, including a rolling reference year, a mid-term review, a reduction in the genomic testing and costs, and the inclusion of 3, 4 and 5 star females as replacements as well as allowing eligible calves and weanlings to qualify along with heifers and cows.
Henry Burns said all of these are reasonable adjustments the Minister could make to the scheme in order to address farmer concerns and ensure the scheme delivers for the sector.