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Mar 24, 2022 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham has said there is no way that farmers can plan for winter finishing now, given the ferocious rise in costs and the uncertainty around markets. “There will be very little cattle fattened next winter given current realities. Factories need to change their normal way of doing business and plan to offer contracts now for cattle for next spring at prices that reflect the current huge costs. There will be no beef in the shops next spring without dramatic change in pricing and guarantees.”

“We are hearing that millers will prioritise pig and poultry over cattle rations if there is any scarcity later this year. The beef farmer is at the bottom of the heap in terms of priorities.” 

“Winter finishers need to know now whether they have any business growing grass or maize silage both of which are just too costly to grow for an enterprise that at the best of times is a gamble.”

ICSA believes that meat factories are going to have to insist on guaranteed prices from their retail and wholesale customers into the medium to long-term. Farmers cannot be expected to carry all the risk on their own. At current prices and with the high levels of uncertainty around even the availability of product, beef finishers would be insane to make any plans to finish cattle. Factories cannot expect that they can keep beef price for next spring a complete mystery and hope that it will be all right on the day. It won’t and right now farmers need some commitment to prices well in excess of current beef prices.

ICSA is also calling on Teagasc to provide regularly updated costings on beef finishing to take account of input price escalation. “The word must get out to retailers now that a completely revamped pricing structure for beef farmers is required if they want beef, or any other meat for that matter,” said Mr Graham.


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