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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘A targeted payment of €300 for suckler cows is critical’

Factories have moved to pull beef prices in recent weeks, to the extent that is not justified, according to IFA president, Tim Cullinan.

He spoke ahead of chairing the organisation’s online meeting for beef farmers next Tuesday evening (March 9th).

IFA wishes to seek farmers’ views on the current price situation, Brexit, Mercosur and CAP.

“The next CAP will need to support vulnerable sectors and recognise that beef farmers are the foundation of our beef sector.” Cullinan stated.

“IFA will be seeking maximum funds from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. Beef farmers have been most exposed from the UK exit.”

The meeting will hear a presentation by the senior policy executive for livestock, Tómas Bourke, and from the national livestock chairman Brendan Golden.

Suckler cow payments 

Golden said direct payments play a huge role in the viability of beef and suckler farms. He highlighted that these payments account for 160% of family farm income.

“The value of payments in the new CAP to the livestock sector cannot be eroded. A targeted payment of €300 for suckler cows is critical.”

He outlined that the marketplace can also offer significantly more to Irish beef farmers if the double standards in EU trade deals are addressed.

“The Mercosur trade deal must be stopped. The existing deals that allow substandard products to undermine our key markets must be aligned with the standards imposed on Irish and EU farmers,” he concluded.

An update on beef prices in March 2021

Meanwhile, the IFA has urged farmers to reject lower quoted beef prices to maximise returns.

Golden outlined that steers are making €3.75/kg and heifers are selling from a base of €3.80/kg this week.

He reported that higher deals are being sealed for larger lots with increased breed bonuses available.

“Factory agents are very active in marts for forward store and finished cattle, highlighting the demand that exists for beef.”

Furthermore, cows are starting at €3.00/kg for Ps and moving to €3.50/kg for better quality R and U grades. Meanwhile, young bulls are ranging from €3.60 to €3.85/kg.

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