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May 4, 2022 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said that the €1,000 silage package for cattle and sheep farmers is a move in the right direction but that much more needs to be done.  “ICSA has strongly argued that the cattle and sheep sectors cannot carry the burden of massive inflation in feed, fertiliser and fuel costs, and we are meeting Minister McConalogue again on Thursday to keep the pressure on.  This is confirmed by examination of Teagasc National Farm Survey outlook figures which suggest that dairy incomes are continuing to rise and will likely be 10-15 times higher per hectare than cattle and sheep systems in 2022.”

“On the other hand, there are credible reports from our members that finishing cattle this winter will not be profitable unless beef reaches €7/kg.  It is very worrying that many suckler farmers are now selling out when they see that selling a cull cow is more profitable than selling an in-calf cow. This is a real measure of suckler farming economics and it demonstrates clearly the need for more support if we want farming to survive in many of the more marginal areas.”

“ICSA believes that the €1,000 silage support to the cattle and sheep sectors is not enough, but it is at least recognition that ICSA is right – our sectors are under extreme pressure.  This week we see factories attempting to cut lamb price even though lamb price is now lower than this time last year. We want to see more support for fertiliser especially now as natural gas price has started to rocket up again after falling early in 2022.  ICSA is also calling for an investigation into fuel prices.  The price of diesel should have fallen more in recent weeks given the drop in the price of a barrel of oil.”

“However, none of this takes away from the fact that the CAP Strategic Plan is a disaster for the cattle and sheep sectors.  Convergence is crushing the viability of many beef finishers but the failure to include a coupled payment for sucklers and sheep means that the new CAP is not fit for purpose.  ICSA will be arguing strongly for more targeted support from exchequer funds to alleviate the shortcomings of the CAP plan for cattle and sheep sectors.”


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