The ICBF announced on Tuesday that it was delaying the rollout of the new updated indexes by one week. The new date for the proposed rollout is now 28 November.

ICBF said it will engage in further communications with both pedigree and commercial beef farmers on the upcoming changes in the coming days.

Commenting on the changes, IFA president Tim Cullinan said: “Genetic improvement based both on science and ever-changing economics was vital to improve the profitability of all farming sectors, but it must have the general support of farmers.

“No farmer in SCEP can be negatively impacted for the duration of the scheme from changes to the indices that have occurred since the scheme commenced.”

ICSA suckler chair Jimmy Cosgrave said ICBF will need to engage more with farmer representatives and the breed societies going forward.

“The lack of consultation around this move by ICBF is at the root of the farmer frustration we are seeing,” he said.

Speaking at the Newtowncunningham IFA branch AGM in Donegal on Monday night, the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue gave an undertaking to those present that he would look into the concerns raised at the meeting on the indexes, and that he would revert back with answers.