Macra has rejected the exit/reduction measure contained in the Dairy Food-Vision final report which was submitted to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on Tuesday.
Macra’s National President, John Keane described the proposed measure as “an attack on every corner and community of rural Ireland.
“The measure will do nothing but to further inflate the land market and force further pressures on farmers,” he said.
“It does nothing to support generational renewal, which is the biggest threat to sustainability on farms. Sterilising land by not allowing breeding ruminants to be on these farms is just a non-runner for Macra and its members”.
Mr. Keane added that what was being proposed would take €1 billion out of the rural economy every year.
“The measure proposes to remove 100,000 cows from farms. National Farm Survey data from 2021 shows that gross output per cow was almost €2,500. When multiplied by 100,000 cows this gives you a drop in farm income of €250 million annually,” he said.
“Research shows that for every €1 in income to a farmer it generates between €3 to €4 in the rural economy. Essentially what is being proposed here is to remove almost €1 billion from the rural economy annually”.
He added that the measure would remove land from production and remove opportunities for young people.
“Macra proposed an on-farm succession scheme to the Vision Group that supports the older generation to step back and support the young people to step forward and become active farmers. This will deliver real change, not land sterilisation,” concluded Keane.