Farmers axed from discussion group initiative
Hundreds of beef farmers will miss out on the €1,000/hd grant because they have been excluded from qualifying for the beef discussion group initiative being rolled out this year.
Galway-based agricultural consultant Vincent Costello says that he has at least 100 clients who are ineligible for the grant simply because of the type of systems they operate.
"To qualify for the scheme, you need to have either suckler cows or be selling stock to the factory," he said. "But there has always been a great tradition in the west of buying calves for feeding before they are sold on as stores for finishing. These farmers can't qualify now, even if they go out and buy a cow or send something off to the factory."
Mr Costello said that he also had plenty of clients with suckler cows who, for one reason or another, never signed up to the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme. He added that he had written to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to outline the problem and was hopeful of some kind of a resolution.