Dermot Kelleher, ICSA president:

“There are mixed feelings about this. Of course, suckler and cattle farmers welcome a scheme to genotype calves, but the fact that our members will be asked to pay five times more than dairy farmers, who made vast profits last year, leaves a sour taste.

"We need this genotyping to have a meaningful effect, on the quality of dairy beef cattle in particular. More broadly, the livestock sector desperately needs a significant injection of funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).”

Derek Deane, Carlow beef farmer:

“ICBF needs to be careful not to lose farmer confidence. We need a mandatory national genotyping programme at the same price for all participants. There is no point genotyping just part of the herd – farmers will only join the programme if they see benefit to it. We need every farmer to participate, to get the full picture of the herd and see what needs to be done to improve the whole herd genomically. There appears to be support from the dairy and meat industry for putting funding into this with the BAR fund. The opportunity to get a programme that will bring real benefit to Irish farmers should not be missed.”

Derek Deane, Carlow beef farmer and former IFA deputy president, who led a group of farmers alongside IFA hill chairman Flor McCarthy to the Irish Farm Centre on Wednesday to demand the IFA look for a coupled payment for suckler and sheep farmers in the next CAP. \ Philip Doyle

Thomas O’Connor, Kildare IFA chair:

“It’s extraordinary that this genotyping scheme will charge more to farmers from the low-income suckler herd than farmers from the high-income dairy herd, but it seems that Brussels’ red-tape makes this necessary. There’s no point in spending millions on a genotyping scheme if those farmers whose calves most need genotyping don’t bother entering. The BAR fund was created for sectors vulnerable to Brexit; but cattle farmers are still waiting for funds to be targeted at them.”

Thomas O'Connor, IFA Kildare county chair. \ Philip Doyle

Michael Doran, ICBF chair:

“The genotyping scheme is using BAR funds, so cannot overlap with the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP). Double funding is not allowed for any single action. As part of SCEP, farmers are paid €22 based on the costings under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BGDP) for genotyping, so we cannot extend the €4 charge to calves of cows in SCEP. However, a farmer participating in SCEP can avail of the €4 charge for calves of cows not in the scheme, and only a maximum of 70% of a herd can be in SCEP. And of course, suckler herds not in SCEP numbering more than 40,000 are eligible for the €4 charge."