A farm group has accused Teagasc of showing an “appalling lack of respect for the suckler sector”.
IFA livestock chairman Brendan Golden, has strongly criticised the comments of outgoing Teagasc director, Gerry Boyle, about the sector’s future.
The suckler sector
Boyle predicted a “potential shift” to dairy-beef production among suckler farmers.
“Farmers will be very surprised to see Gerry Boyle say that Teagasc was strongly advocating switching from beef production to dairy beef production. We need Teagasc to clarify their position urgently.”
“It is appalling that a senior industry figure would show such disregard for a farm sector that is unique in the scale of its significance in every county,” Golden said.
“100,000 farmers are involved in beef production. To dismiss them in such a cavalier fashion shows very poor judgement.”
“What farmers expect to hear from Teagasc is some support for our suckler herd, which contributes to beef exports of €2bn.”
He said Ireland’s export markets value the quality beef that the island produces. “The exports will only continue if we implement policies to bring beef farmers towards viability.”
The farm group’s pre-Budget submission has a target of €300 per suckler cow.
It said that if the government is “serious” about maintaining the beef sector, it must provide funding for beef farmers.
The IFA launched its pre-Budget 2022 submission, which lays the foundation for a “fair, sustainable” agri-food sector.
The farm group is seeking €300 per suckler cow, €30 per ewe and €300m for ANCs. In addition, it has called for a scheme for tillage farmers to “stop the exodus from this sector”.
He pointed out that the government gave a clear commitment that it would ring-fence €1.5bn of carbon tax receipts for REPS-2.
“Now is the time for the government to step up and put action and money behind the rhetoric.”