Immediate support needed to safeguard suckler and beef sector – IFA

IFA President Tim Cullinan and Livestock Committee Chair Brendan Golden have written to Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue calling for immediate support to be provided to the suckler and beef sector as the effects of the inputs inflation crisis take hold.

  Tim Cullinan said immediate funding is needed to allow farmers make plans to have fodder for the winter ahead. “Suckler and beef farmers do not have the financial capacity to absorb the extent of the increases on input prices. There is an urgent need for immediate direct financial supports for these farmers to offset the costs,” he said.

  The recent Teagasc report finds the impact of increased input expenditure will exceed output growth for the year. The production costs on suckler and finishing farms are projected to increase by 24% and 30% respectively.

  Brendan Golden said the suckler and beef farming are low-income sectors dependent on direct payments for 160% of FFI. Recent developments place even more significance on the value of these supports and bring the flawed CAP policy sharply into focus, where “our most productive suckler and beef farmers will see their payments slashed in 2023, if not amended”.

  This sector is also the most exposed to the impacts of Brexit and while the full impact of market access and UK trade deals has yet to be determined, beef farmers are already impacted by sterling volatility and market disruption from stockpiling of products in December 2020, which led to beef price drops in early 2021.