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HomeFarming NewsIncluding milk recording in eco-schemes ‘inappropriate’
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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Including milk recording in eco-schemes ‘inappropriate’

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has responded to calls to include milk recording as a measure in eco-schemes under the next CAP.

Deputy Aindrias Moynihan, Fianna Fail TD for Cork North-West constituency, raised the matter with the minister in the Dáil on Thursday, December 9th, 2021.

He asked Minister McConalogue if the DAFM had considered including measures such as milk recording and the use of sexed semen or improving herd EBI.

In response, the minister said that the European Commission is “very clear” in its guidance that eco-schemes designed solely for the purpose of collecting data “do not seem appropriate”.

“That is the feedback we had from the Commission in respect of milk recording,” he explained.

“We did explore the matter, and the deputy and many others raised it with me. It was not regarded as being appropriate,” he added.

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The minister recently announced five additional eco-scheme that he believes “will serve all farm types”.

These include:

  • Leaving aside a certain percentage for space for nature on farms;
  • Rewarding extensive livestock production;
  • Limiting chemical nitrogen usage;
  • Planting native trees on farms; soil sampling and appropriate liming;
  • Enhanced crop diversification;
  • Sowing multispecies swards.

“I do believe there is a very strong suite of measures in place, having taken on board the deputy’s representations and feedback from farmers across the country,” he concluded.

Tackling AMR threats

Last month, Macra na Feirme was among those who called on the DAFM to include faecal sampling and milk recording as potential measures that farmers can select under new eco-scheme proposals in the next CAP.

The rural youth organisation believes that such measures could address AMR threats.

National Macra president, Macra na Feirme, said including these measures in eco-schemes:

  • Allow Irish farmers to get ahead of the curve;
  • Be leaders when it comes to addressing this issue;
  • Forge a pathway that facilitates Irish farmers to meet the ambition under The EU Farm to Fork Strategy.
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