Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Creed has €50m secured for farm spending

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Darragh McCullough and martin ryan

The new Minister for Agriculture is set to thrash out the details of his wish-list with the EU's Agriculture Commissioner when he meets him in the coming days.

Minister Michael Creed says that he already has a commitment on the €50m of funding required to push through a new ewe subsidy and a €25m top-up for payments in the Disadvantaged Areas scheme.

"There is a commitment on those issues, but we can't be prescriptive about how it will work until I meet with the farm organisations," he told the Farming Independent.

Insisting that his priority was to ensure a reasonable farm income to preserve the family farm structure, Minister Creed is also set to tackle the so-called "forgotten farmers" that missed out on both the new young farmer package and installation aid when the scheme was axed.

Also mooted is a reduction in the maximum CAP payment to €100,000, increased funding for TAMS and organic farmers, and a review of the Rural Development Plan later this year.

"I will be addressing all these issues with Commissioner (Phil) Hogan when we meet this week, and obviously we need approval from Brussels, but the funding is committed, which is welcome," he said.

Meanwhile, the ICMSA and ICSA have demanded the newly appointed minister commits to a "full review" of the Quality Pricing System (QPS).

A Teagasc study concluded that the 15-point carcase classification grid is a "relatively accurate" measure of beef carcase value, despite the research showing that the current price difference between U3 and O3 steers reflecting only two thirds of the gap in actual market value.

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Dr Mark McGee examined the effect of breed type on carcase yield and value. He found that the meat yield of U3 steers from the suckler herd was 71.2pc. This compared to 65pc from 03 Holstein-Friesian bred. He valued the benefit of the superior yield from the non-dairy progeny at 36c/kg. The average gap between U3s and O3s is 25c/kg.

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