Des Morrison Enniscrone farmer and Chairperson of ICMSA Livestock Committee

ICMSA welcome “retro eligibility” of last Autumn’s calves for Dairy Beef Calf Scheme

The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee had welcomed the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that calves born after 1 July 2021 will be eligible for inclusion in the 2022 Dairy Beef Calf Scheme.  The announcement was made following a meeting and on foot of repeated lobbying by ICMSA, the farm organisation that had most actively sought and outlined how the scheme could function. Des Morrison, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, said that while the decision around what described as “retro eligibility” was not hugely significant in itself, it did show that the Department was listening and seemed committed to ICMSA’s argument that the scheme could become a real option if properly funded and with a reasonable headage payment per calf.

“We actually called for exactly this retrospective eligibility just before last Christmas and we’re happy to acknowledge that our arguments seem to have been heard. We pointed out at that time that the original 1 November cut-off date excluded particularly liquid milk producers calving in Autumn and that farmers with the ineligible calves needed to know whether to hold onto them and apply for this year’s scheme or sell them. This decision clears up these questions and was definitely worth us asking for and the Department having another look”, said Mr. Morrison.

But the ICMSA Livestock Chair said that the Dairy Beef Scheme would never realise its potential until its per-head payment got up to realistic levels and that “had to happen”.

“This is exactly the kind of scheme that makes moves us all forward towards the environmental, sustainable and commercial goals we all know we need to get to.  We’re wary of the phrase but it’s actually a ‘no-brainer’ and the closer you look at it, the more sense it makes.   ICMSA is going to keep on making proposals that develop this option because we’re convinced that this is completely viable and the Department’s decision on last Autumn’s calves show that we are making progress on our project”, he concluded.

Ends.       1 March 2022

Des Morrison, 087-2263331

Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office