The Food Vision Beef and Sheep Group has proposed a measure which would see farmers receive payment to cut suckler numbers.
As initially reported by That’s Farming last month, its proposed ninth measure to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the beef sector is a voluntary extensification scheme, which it defines as a reduction in the number of suckler cows and the development of other non-breeding beef or sheep enterprises and/or other farm enterprises.
It has outlined a figure of €1,350 /suckler cow for farmers reducing.
However, the report stated that the figure is an estimation and not a recommendation, as it is subject to the level of public funding for any scheme, which it says “would be a matter for further consideration”.
It has stated that the impact of measure 9 – which it suggests as a short-term measure – would provide additional reductions.
However, it acknowledged that its impact depends on the level of participation in the voluntary scheme.
Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions
Its other proposed measures include:
- Improving live weight performance for beef cattle resulting in earlier slaughter ages, reducing the age of slaughter by between 2.7 and 3.9 months on average, from 2018 average of 26 months to 22-23 months on average by 2030;
- Reduce age at first calving of suckler beef cows by between 2.0 to 3.8 months compared to 2018
- Development of methane-mitigating feed technologies;
- Target a 90% replacement rate of CAN with Protected Urea by the end of 2025 for grass-based beef production systems;
- – Reduce chemical Nitrogen use in the beef sector by 27% – 30% on average by 2030, with an interim target of 22 – 25% by 2025. (This is a reduction from approximate usage in 2018 by the Beef and Sheep Sector of 143k tonnes to 104k – 100k tonnes by the end of 2030);
- Increase area under organic beef production to 180,000 ha by 2027;
- a) Develop methane-mitigating breeding strategies (carbon subindex) 7.b) develop methane-mitigating breeding strategies (building efficiency traits);
- Voluntary Diversification Scheme (removal of suckler cows and developing other non-breeding beef or sheep enterprises and/or other farm enterprises).