The IFA has called on Minister Charlie McConalogue to clarify the intentions of the draft suckler scheme for 2023-2027.
Its livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, said that the draft scheme is “now out” for public consultation as part of the new CAP Strategic Plan.
“While farmers will understand the concept of a reference year, any suggestion that farmers would suffer a penalty on their payments for existing cows if they increase numbers would be unprecedented and unacceptable,” he said.
Draft suckler scheme
“IFA has consistently sought a payment of €300 per suckler cow. This scheme must be the vehicle to do that, but we cannot have restrictive conditions.”
“The minister and the department need to learn the lessons from the BEAM scheme, which turned what should have been a good news story into a negative,” he said.
“The overall problem with the consultation document is that there is no indication of the budget for the schemes.”
“The budget for the suckler scheme must be sufficient to deliver €300 per suckler cow. The government should set out their plans for the budget as part of the consultation process,” he said.
“IFA will make a comprehensive submission before the deadline of August 27th,” he added.
Capping the Irish suckler herd
Another farm group has expressed its concerns following reported proposals to cap the Irish suckler herd.
The IBLA confirmed that it would not support any reduction or capping of the “valuable” Irish suckler herd.
“The Irish suckler herd is the backbone of rural Ireland and its communities. IBLA views this as an attempt to sacrifice the Irish suckler herd to benefit other sectors.”
“This attempt to cap the Irish suckler herd will not be accepted by Irish suckler farmers. There will be no generational renewal in the beef sector with this DAFM proposal.
The group appealed to every farmer to contact public representatives to “voice your outrage at this course of action”.