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Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore this week, IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said increased direct payments and a strong live export trade are essential to maintain our national suckler cow herd, which he described as the backbone of the €2.5bn Irish beef sector.

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IFA President Joe Healy said with the severe income pressure across all sectors, all direct payments must be made on time and within deadlines set down in the Charter of Rights for Farmers. As the autumn payments begin, and ANC starting in two weeks’ time, he warned that farmers will not tolerate any hold-ups this year.

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