Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

ICSA issues warning on future of the suckler herd

Conditions on farms are allowing lungworm to cause problems.
Conditions on farms are allowing lungworm to cause problems.

The ICSA has expressed fears for the future of the Irish suckler herd, as poor beef prices continue to undermine weanling prices.

"The lack of profitability in beef is driving more and more suckler farmers to consider getting out of the business," said Dermot Kelleher, ICSA suckler chairman..

"Even the best and most efficient suckler farmers are struggling to generate profits, and many are considering moving to more profitable sectors like dairying. It takes a generation to build up a quality suckler herd, and if we lose it, it may take years to restore," he pointed out.

"For farmers on marginal land, the only options may be forestry or land abandonment. Farmers on better land have other options including dairying and tillage, but I'm very concerned for suckler farmers in the most disadvantaged areas, and I wonder will Minister Coveney be remembered as the minister who presided over the collapse of the suckler herd?"

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