IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said the new beef data and genomics scheme announced by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney this week of €52m per year, amounting to a payment of €80 per cow on 650,000 calved cows, is a positive move for suckler farmers.
He said IFA had lobbied hard for a strong targeted payment for suckler cows and it will be a real challenge to stabilise the valuable national suckler cow herd.
Henry Burns said, “It is essential that any costs associated with participation in the scheme are kept to an absolute minimum, and the maximum income gains are leveraged from the benefits of genomics for suckler farmers as quickly as possible”.
The IFA Livestock leader said it is very important that the new agri-environment scheme (GLAS) of €5,000 will be available to all suckler farmers and not limited by excessive restrictions and conditions.
Henry Burns said a large number of suckler farmers are operating on very marginal land with very low incomes and do not have options on changing enterprise. “The reality is direct payments make up over 100% of net income and Minister Coveney must continue to work on strongly supporting the sector.”