Exclusion of some farmers from new programme ‘counterproductive’

Following the announcement of the Beef Technology Adoption Programme, Mr Michael Guinan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Beef & Cattle Committee has stated that all farmers involved in beef production should consider the merits of the scheme for their farm.

Following the announcement of the Beef Technology Adoption Programme, Mr Michael Guinan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Beef & Cattle Committee has stated that all farmers involved in beef production should consider the merits of the scheme for their farm.

The Tullamore farmer ‘strongly urged’ interested and suitably qualified farmers to apply for the scheme before the closing date of March 7, 2012.

“The discussion group format has worked well for dairy farming as a means of improving the information flow between farmers and it has aided the adoption of modern and more efficient farming practices. While beef prices are at a high level at present, we all know that we can do things better and need to keep up-to-date with modern techniques and ‘best practice’. That’s the role we see for the beef scheme and it should provide an opportunity for beef farmers to improve their margins from beef production”, said Mr Guinan, before going on to express disappointment at what he saw as a counterproductive exclusion of some dairy farmers.

“The one area of concern is the exclusion of dairy farmers from the scheme if they are participants in the Dairy Efficiency Programme. There are over 8,000 dairy farmers in the Bord Bia Beef Quality Assurance Scheme and with the likely growth in beef from the dairy herd going forward and following the abolition of milk quotas, it is very disappointing to see these dairy farmers have been excluded from the scheme. Many dairy farmers remain very committed to beef production and policy makers must realise this and develop policies to support them. This is an illogical and counterproductive exclusion,” concluded Mr.Guinan.