CAP coupling divides farm leadership
Battlelines are deepening between farm leaders over how to couple part of the Single Farm Payment.
The ICSA have now joined the country's second largest farm body, the ICMSA, in denouncing the IFA's proposals to create a €144m pot to fund coupled payments for sheep, beef, tillage and dairy farmers.
The coupling proposal also came in for serious criticism last week during a meeting of the IFA's national council.
"Beef farmers will not accept a cut of up to 10pc on their single farm payment (SFP) to subsidise a support payment for an industry that's twice as profitable as their own.
"To suggest that dairy farms should be subsidised by the lower-income farm systems is an absolute nonsense," said the ICSA's Edmond Phelan.
The most recent National Farm Survey by Teagasc shows that dairy farms returned €939/ha in 2012, compared to €419/ha for beef finishing farms.
The ICSA claims that the re-introduction of coupling is fundamentally flawed.
"It simply means beef finishers will turn up to the mart with 10pc less to spend on weanlings. This will have a negative impact on weanling prices," Mr Phelan claimed.