ICSA is calling on Minister McConalogue to immediately announce an allocation of €50m to fund ICSA’s Beef Carbon Efficiency Scheme, set out as part of the association’s CAP Strategic Plan. ICSA president Dermot Kelleher said, “The minister is now talking about reducing the average slaughter age from 27 to 24 months. This cannot be achieved by magic. It will cost beef finishers substantially to deliver this, given rising fees costs,” he said.
“It is all the more challenging when many of the beef finishers that are expected to deliver this monumental change are among the hardest hit by convergence cuts to their Pillar 1 payments. The ICSA proposal provides a practical route to achieving this goal but it must be included as part of the CAP Strategic Plan.”
Under the ICSA plan, farmers would get a payment of up to €100/hd for prime beef finished earlier. Payment to consist of two elements – €40 for weighing stores, and up to €60 for getting heifers, steers or young bulls slaughtered early. The targets would be 22-26 months for heifers, 24-28 months for steers, and 16-22 months for bulls. The earlier the slaughter, the higher the payment.
Mr Kelleher also said agreements made at COP26 by the EU to cut emissions of methane by 30% by 2030 are pointless unless Brazil is on board. “By becoming part of this pledge, Irish farmers will be placed under enormous pressure to drastically change their farming practices, while countries like Brazil carry on with their destructive practices. Irish farmers will however play their part, but we are looking to Minister McConalogue to support beef farmers in doing that, and ICSA’s Beef Carbon Efficiency proposal is the only logical way to do that.”