Top suckler farmer calls for targeted cull of dairy bull calves
More European support is needed for low-income sectors such as suckler farming, argues
As a suckler beef farmer, I wish to respond to some of the points made by Darragh McCullough and Pat McCormack in articles published recently (October 2) in the Farming Independent.
The CAP promises a fair standard of living for all farmers, not just dairy farmers.
The expansion of dairying has flooded the EU with poor-quality product which has depressed the price for beef farmers.
A lot of extra dairy cows were slaughtered this year because of drought and went straight from the parlour to the factory with some of them being refused because they were emaciated.
ICMSA president Pat McCormack argues that there is "no logic" for additional suckler supports; Darragh McCullough suggests that dairy farmers should have access to beef farmers' lands and sheds to facilitate dairy expansion.
I strongly disagree with both arguments. Instead, I believe we need a 'Herod scheme' to address the issue of unwanted dairy calves of poor quality.
The dairy sector does not have the right to drive on with increased emissions at the expense of our suckler herd.
A beef-bred calf is far more efficient in converting grass and concentrates to beef than their dairy counterparts. These are the animals we need to access the best markets in the world.