Dairy to beef systems the way forward says climate change study
But ICSA says proposals "unlikely to impress farmers"
A move from sucklers to dairy calf to beef systems and linking dairy expansion to forestry and agro-forestry are among the key measures being proposed to tackle Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions.
A joint report on climate smart agriculture from Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the RDS recommends providing incentives to encourage farmers into dairy to beef systems.
"There is going to be an output from the dairy sector in terms of calves that will not be needed in the dairy sector," said report co-author and IIEA director Tom Arnold.
"The levels of profitability in the suckler cow herd are also very low and so I think this may be an opportunity to begin to address that issue."
The report points out that up to 400,000 additional calves will become available because of dairy expansion
However, the ICSA said the report makes little contribution to the fundamental question of how to ensure viability for Ireland's family farms.
ICSA president Patrick Kent said the report's scenarios on the beef and dairy sector were compromised when there seems to be "little will to account for sequestration in grass and to offset it against emissions.