Farmers in the midwest have challenged IFA leadership to secure a new minimum price formula with the country's beef processors.
At Limerick IFA's AGM, calls were made for farmers to be paid a fixed ratio of international market prices to ensure a floor for beef producers in the future.
The meeting heard many members air their concerns that beef processors took advantage of the adverse weather in 2012 to reduce prices paid to producers, despite supplies being tight.
Ahane branch chairman Tom Clifford said that he was very worried about what the factories would do in a year when there was a glut of cattle.
"Given what they succeeded in doing to farmers in a year when everything appeared to be right, the situation needs to be looked at by the IFA. We need a price committee established to deal with the factories on what they pay farmers," he said.
"An increase in the live exports might be the way to put some manners on the factories," he said.
Limerick chairman Eddie Scanlan, who is set to take up a position on the national livestock committee, said he would be proposing that factories share the margin in the future.
"Prices to producers should be related to the market returns and there should be agreement with the factories on that in advance," he said.