Pressure is mounting this week on the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) to row back on some of the changes made to the terminal and replacement suckler indexes last week.
The changes went live on 28 November, with many farmers only realising this week how they affect their herds. The Simmental and Belgian Blue breeds have been hit hardest and many suckler farmers with Belgian Blue or Simmental breeding in their cows have seen individual cow’s indexes drop in their herds.
The Roscommon IFA county executive has sent a motion of no confidence in the IFA members on the ICBF board to be discussed at the next national council meeting of the IFA.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Roscommon IFA chair Pat Leonard said: “We are calling on the four IFA nominees on the ICBF board to resign their positions unless changes are made to the indexes or SCEP requirements.”
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that other IFA county executives are contemplating a similar approach to force changes. It is understood a heated discussion took place between the IFA livestock committee and ICBF CEO Seán Coughlan at its committee meeting on Wednesday. The ICSA, having originally met ICBF before the changes were implemented, were assured by ICBF at that meeting that changes would be minimal.
This week, however, ICSA president Dermot Kelleher said: “Many of our members have grave concerns about their future in SCEP and these concerns will have to be addressed.”
The Irish Simmental Cattle Society has urged its members to contact TDs and senators to express their discontent at the index changes.
Irish Simmental Cattle Society secretary, Peadar Glennon, said: “Feedback received from both commercial suckler farmers and pedigree breeders is highlighting how the value of their herds has been decimated and will no doubt affect their future viability.
“Our analysis indicates that the model on which these latest evaluations is based is flawed and that oversight appears to be missing. A reversal to the evaluations in place prior to 28 November as an interim solution must take place, followed by an independent audit of ICBF evaluations.”