Beef and dairy farmers are being pushed into reducing cattle numbers or quitting livestock production completely by the latest Climate Action Plan.

The Government’s action plan for 2023 and beyond includes the dairy and suckler cow cull schemes recommended by the Food Vision reports, but without any detail of the compensation packages needed to fund them.

New incentives – but with no financial detail attached – are planned to draw farmers into alternative farm enterprises.

Cabinet agreed on Wednesday to massively increase organic farming to 400,000ha by 2030, while also fast-tracking a network of 20 large biomethane plants that would require 60,000ac of land to feed them within two years.

Additionally, 60,000ha are targeted for rewetting.

A further restriction of fertiliser use is planned by 2030.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said farmers need “clear direction, good advice and adequate financial incentives” to combat climate change.

“There will be no coercion or compulsion,” he added.

The Taoiseach said: “The Government won’t be culling anyone’s cows,” adding that it was about putting a very attractive diversification plan in place for organics, forestry, tillage and biogas.