Restricting Farm Output Would be Huge Mistake

Following its AGM yesterday, IFA President Tim Cullinan has stated that it would be a huge mistake to impose output restrictions of any kind on Irish farmers.

“Farmers in Ireland produce some of the most carbon efficient beef and dairy in the world. We are more than willing to play our part in addressing the climate challenge, but using a ‘blunt instrument’ to control output would be damaging for the future of Irish farming and rural Ireland.”

At our AGM, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin and the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue outlined the requirement of the sector to stabilise and reduce emissions immediately. At the meeting, Tim Cullinan told them directly that blunt instruments cannot be employed.

“Any actions taken to mitigate emissions must be carefully considered. We cannot let knee jerk reactions determine the future viability of Irish agriculture. Farmers fully understand the need to reduce emissions, but we have a target for 2030, not 2023. I am confident that we can achieve our 2030 targets by using technology to reduce methane and Nitrous oxide output per animal,” he said.

This morning Minister Charlie McConalogue hosted a Dairy Sustainability discussion with farm organisations. He outlined plans to establish a group to implement the dairy priorities outlined in Food Vision 2030.

Professor Gerry Boyle, former Director General of Teagasc, will chair the group. Both he and Department officials expect an initial report from the group to be submitted by the end of March.

IFA Dairy Chair Stephen Arthur, who was present at the meeting, said the timeframe was much too short for such serious issues.

Since the removal of milk quotas, IFA estimate that dairy farmers have invested €2.2bn on their farms. “The prosperity of the sector depends on the ability of farmers to grow their business. The sector has already endured 30 years of stagnation which led to a lost generation of dairy farmers.  We will not allow our sector become a twilight industry.”

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