The Irish Beef & Lamb Association – IBLA – has called for “radical change” in the agricultural sector.
The farm group has welcomed Minister McConalogue’s engagement with the new Teagasc director, Mr. Frank O’Mara.
In a statement to That’s Farming, an IBLA spokesperson said:
“Clear direction and clear projects must be the way forward. Recent EPA statements and articles have identified problem areas within the agricultural sector that need to be addressed urgently.”
“The minister must give clear direction on the steps required to reduce and turn around the contributing factors that are of the most immediate concern to the environment, which the EPA has expressed.”
“We also note the dramatic reduction in the Irish suckler herd by 40,000 head. This reduction clearly identifies that this sector is not a contributing factor to the environmental concerns the EPA has expressed.”
“Teagasc, a science fact and data-based organisation, must put aside lobby group interests.”
“It must report accurately on the changes required for those contributing the most to the environmental issues of concern,” the spokesperson concluded.
Suckler cow numbers fall by over 40,000
Suckler cow numbers continue to drop in Ireland.
According to the latest release from the CSO (Central Statistics Office), suckler cow numbers fell by over 40,000 from June 2020 to June 2021.
Suckler cow numbers decreased by 4.4% or 43,000 head in the respective period.
Meanwhile, the number of dairy cows has increased by 36,800, up 2.4% on the same period last year.
According to the CSO, the national suckler herd stood at 940,300 compared to 983,800 the previous June and 999,700 cows in 2019.
Meanwhile, dairy cow numbers stood at 1.604.5m this June, compared to 1.567.7m the previous year and 1,504.8m in June 2019.
Overall, total cattle numbers increased 44,500 (+0.6%) to 7,358,900.
The total number of cattle less than two years increased by 132,700 (+3.4%). In contrast, the number of cattle two years and over decreased by 80,300 (-10.1%).