ICMSA Welcome “First Step” Towards Better Integration Of Dairy and Beef
The President of ICMSA has welcomed the announcement as part of Budget 2021 of the introduction of a new calf weighing measure for farmers rearing dairy beef calves and Pat McCormack described it as an important first step to improving the integration between the dairy and beef sectors.
Mr. McCormack said that while ICMSA has been seeking the introduction of a much more comprehensive scheme that recognised the absolute need for a stronger relationship between the dairy and beef with an emphasis on improving the quality of the calf coming from the dairy herd, the introduction of this measure – modest as it is – was an acceptance of the need to move in the direction that ICMSA had been indicating for the last 18 months.
“The Department have confirmed to ICMSA that both dairy and beef farmers rearing dairy calves will qualify for this payment and it has to be welcomed as an important first step to be built upon going forward. The principle has been accepted now and we’ll be seeking an enhanced scheme in future years – certainly for 2021 the Department should consider ways to increase the €5m budget further to encourage the maximum level of participation”, said Mr. McCormack.
Des Morrison, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, said that the acceptance of the need to accelerate integration between the dairy and beef sectors was very significant and put another positive option in front of farmers, which was always, he said, ICMSA’s principle aim.
“This can and will work but it’s essential that the terms and conditions of the scheme are kept as simple as possible to encourage the maximum level of participation. Farmers will avail of it if it’s practical and works for them and the integration that we need will gather pace and momentum that way”, he concluded.
Ends 14 October 2020
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
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