The €100 million Brexit package must be delivered as soon as possible and with no conditionality, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association has insisted.
John Halley, Suckler Commitee chairman, said farmers in the cattle sector have endured a difficult period and it is urgent that the money is paid as quickly as possible.
He said that the ICSA is totally opposed to any conditionality on payments to farmers, such as compulsory stock reductions being linked to the package.
Mr Halley said suckler farmers have felt the impact of Brexit. Weanling price has been significantly lower in 2018-2019 than prior to Brexit. Farmers are at the end of their wits as a result of poor prices.
“Advice to increase output is totally counter-productive in a scenario where we can’t even sell the beef we have at a viable price,” he said.
Mr Halley said here are a lot of demands on farmers now to deliver targets in areas such as climate change.
“However, it is ‘not on’ to expect farmers to do this for free,” he said, calling for a scheme that is more like REPs and lesss like GLAS – a scheme that rewards those who deliver the environmental benefits.