The decision by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue not to pursue a culling or exit scheme in dairying has been welcomed by Macra.

Macra president Elaine Houlihan has said that the association has always outrightly rejected the exit/reduction measure, calling for more focus on a succession scheme.

"We were adamant that a culling scheme was not the right approach and we welcome the minister’s decision. Our organisation believes introducing a succession focused scheme would achieve far better results, deliver value for money, contribute towards environmental objectives and achieve greater policy cohesion in terms of generational renewal for the sector," she said.

Macra’s succession scheme proposal incorporates a step back mechanism for farmers, coupled with an entrance scheme for young farmers who will also adopt a range of climate mitigation measures. Succession helps initiate real positive change

"A succession scheme represents value for money and puts youth at the centre of Irish dairy farming. Succession helps initiate real positive change for climate emission reduction, sustains rural communities and puts youth to the fore of real change. An industry without youth is a dying industry," she said.

She went on to say how farmer characteristics, including age, and innovativeness impact the decision to adopt smart farming or precision agriculture technologies at farm level that help reduce and mitigate climate emissions.

Macra, she added, will be campaigning for the introduction of a succession scheme in its pre-budget proposals.