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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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‘The minister is talking about reducing the average slaughter age from 27 to 24m’

Reducing the average slaughter age will cost beef finishers “substantially”, given rising fees costs.

That is according to the ICSA’s leader, Dermot Kelleher, who said, “this cannot be achieved by magic.

Average slaughter age

“The minister is now talking about reducing the average slaughter age from 27 to 24 months,” he remarked.

“It is all the more challenging when many of the beef finishers that are expected to deliver this monumental change are among the hardest hit by convergence cuts to their Pillar 1 payments.”

The farm group has called on the minister to immediately announce an allocation of €50m to fund ICSA’s Beef Carbon Efficiency Scheme. The association outlined details of this in its CAP Strategic Plan.

“The ICSA proposal provides a practical route to achieving this goal, but it must be included as part of the CAP Strategic Plan.”

Payment rates

Under the ICSA’s plan, farmers would get a payment of up to €100/head for prime beef finished earlier.

Payment would consist of two elements:

  • €40 for weighing stores;
  • Up to €60 for getting heifers, steers or young bulls slaughtered early.

The targets would be:

  • 22-26 months for heifers;
  • 24-28 months for steers;
  • 16-22 months for bulls.

“The earlier the slaughter, the higher the payment,” Kelleher said.

Cut emissions 

Kelleher also said agreements made at COP26 by the EU to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 are “pointless” unless Brazil is on board.

“By becoming part of this pledge, Irish farmers will be placed under enormous pressure to drastically change their farming practices, while countries like Brazil carry on with their destructive practices.”

“Irish farmers will, however, play their part. We are looking to Minister McConalogue to support beef farmers in doing that.”

“ICSA’s Beef Carbon Efficiency proposal is the only logical way to do that,” he concluded.

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