ICSA Welcomes Beef Group Support

IRELAND - ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin has welcomed the announcement of the Beef Discussion Group scheme payment by Minister Coveney last week (Monday 13th February) as an innovative scheme, which will pay a huge dividend to the state through increased technical efficiency and greater output on cattle farms.
calendar icon 20 February 2012
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Mr Gilmartin said that he had been a strong advocate of payment for participation in discussion groups by the drystock sector and he had made it a key issue at the Food Harvest 2020 discussions.

He said that the menu approach was the correct one where farmers would have a choice of measures to implement.

“Given that the funding available is €5 million, which will allow for €1,000 payments to 5,000 farmers we have to ensure that we get the money to the most committed and progressive farmers. When resources are scarce, it makes sense to target those who want to help themselves and who are trying to make progress. On the other hand, the range of options means that there is no real barrier to participation by committed farmers who are intent on improving their efficiency levels and learning from the discussion group process.”

“This is a real value for money scheme for the state and it is critical that funding is made available for the next three years. In the longer term, it is obvious that a scheme like this will be very well placed to qualify for Pillar 2 funding under the CAP reform proposals.”

Mr Gilmartin welcomed the fact that the scheme would be open to private agricultural advisors as well as Teagasc consultants.

He was particularly pleased that there is considerable emphasis on better breeding and better grassland, two areas where there is major scope for improvement on suckler farms.
Cows strengthen as remainder of trade steadies

Livestock Price Coordinator for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), John Cleary, has said that despite a strengthening in the cow trade, the overall factory beef trade is on a par with last week.

For a good mix of steers, the base price being quoted is €3.90 – 4.00/kg, there has been an increase of 10c on the upper quotes for steers from last week but these are difficult to achieve. Factories are quoting €4- €4.10/kg for heifers, no change from last week. For a mix of U and R grade bulls, the base price is also €3.95 - €4.05/kg, a slight fall from this time last week. Cows have had a strong week and the quotes from the factories reflect this. Quotes for cows range from €3.30/kg for average cows right up to €3.70/kg for in spec animals.

Commenting on last week’s trade, Mr Cleary said: “It’s steady as she goes this week for the beef trade. Steers are up a small bit, bulls are down and there’s no change with the heifers so it really does average itself out. The one area bucking the trend is that of the cow trade. There has been a move of 5-15c for cows which is fantastic news.

"The old adage is that the cow trade is the barometer for the rest of the beef trade so there are positive signs after a few weeks of uncertainty and price falls. Industry experts have alluded to me this week that the cow trade is set to continue very strongly for the best part of the year so there are reasons to be cheerful.”

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