IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden has strongly criticised the comments attributed to the outgoing Teagasc Director Gerry Boyle about the future of the suckler sector.
“It’s appalling that a senior industry figure would show such disregard for a farm sector that is unique in the scale of its significance in every county,” he said.
“100,000 farmers are involved in beef production. To dismiss them in such a cavalier fashion shows very poor judgement,” he said.
Farmers will be very surprised to see Gerry Boyle say that Teagasc was ‘strongly advocating’ switching from beef production to dairy beef production. “We need Teagasc to clarify their position urgently,” he said.
“Of all people, Gerry Boyle should know the value of the beef suckler sector to the rural economy. As an economist, he should also know the wider benefits of the livestock sector in towns and villages across the country,” he said.
What farmers expect to hear from Teagasc is some support for our suckler herd, which contributes to beef exports of €2bn.
Our export markets value the quality beef that we produce. The exports will only continue if we implement policies to bring beef farmers towards viability.
Our pre-Budget submission has a target of €300 per suckler cow. If the Govt is serious about maintaining the beef sector, then it has to provide funding for beef farmers.