The Beef Plan Movement is seeking a “significant subsidy” in the region of €300 for suckler farmers before farmers commit to a new five-year suckler scheme.

This would go some way towards addressing the extra costs involved in suckling, a statement from Eamon Corley on behalf of the Beef Plan suckler beef committee said.

He said it is important that the new scheme delivers in terms of extra output from the suckler cow and that the new scheme is one which farmers can have confidence in.

He also called for the €uro-Star rating system to be independently verified, outside of the ICBF and Teagasc, and for “a big shakeup in what traits are used” in the star rating system.

ICBF board

The group also wants the board of the ICBF to be “revamped”.

“The board is currently controlled by an overwhelming majority of members who have a bias towards the dairy industry. When this board is entrusted with the task of devising and implementing a star rating system for suckler cows it is very important that it is not unduly influenced by the dairy sector.

“For this reason, it is important that the board that is given responsibility for this task be made up of a majority of members from a suckler beef origin,” he said.

He added that the group feels there is “very little place for dairy genetics in suckler animals”.