IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Henry Burns said the increase in the payments under the new beef data programme is a clear recognition that action needs to be taken to support the suckler cow herd.
Henry Burns said it was a mistake to abolish the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme in last year’s budget and IFA has worked hard to secure an increase in the original payment under the beef data programme.
The IFA livestock leader said Minister Coveney must deliver strong targeted support for the suckler cow herd in the CAP reform negotiations under the option on coupling, with necessary national funding in order to maintain quality beef production.
Henry Burns said the €25m in national funding which Minister Coveney says he provided for the suckler herd in 2013 must be maintained and increased for 2014 and future years.
He said the recent IFA/UCD Report highlighted the importance of direct payments for the suckler herd and showed that any cut in direct payments would clearly result in a loss of production. “The report showed that each €1 of direct payments delivers over €4 in economic output and supports 150,000 jobs, over €2bn in exports and €5bn economic output.”
Under the new Beef Data programme, Minister Coveney has announced that the payments are to be increased from €20 per cow for 20 cows to €20 per cow for the first 30 cows and €10 per cow for the next 20 cows.
Under the programme, farmers are required to record and submit data on breeding and calving.
The scheme will operate from Jan 1st and calves born after this date and registered on time will be eligible for payment. There will be a facility for farmers to apply for the scheme on line.