Macra wants to use EU aid to boost grassland

Macra na Feirme president Sean Finan

The EU Commission’s aid package should be used to fund a grassland improvement scheme rather than be given out as a flat rate payment, says Macra na Feirme president Sean Finan.

Macra wants the Government to match the EU’s contribution to create a total €22.5m fund. 

The young farmer group says a flat payment or a loan would have minimal impact, whereas a strategic grassland scheme would have a long term benefit for Irish farmland.

Mr Finan said: “If the aid was invested in an optional grassland improvement scheme for grassland improvement measures, it would improve the main productive assets within the farm gate such as soil fertility and grass. 

"This would return more to farmers than a one-off small flat rate payment ever could, as a result of improvements in soil fertility and grass utilisation.”

Reports from the Teagasc Beef open day 2016 found 50% of farms are not reaching grass growth potential.

The Macra pre-Budget proposal is based on a fund of €22.2m, with farmers receiving €150 per acre. 

This would result in reseeding of 148,000 acres. 

This would benefit all active livestock farmers, focusing on efficiency regardless of size or scale, says Macra.

The Irish Examiner / ICMSA farming survey: Methodology


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