Comments this week by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that no farmer will be told by Government to reduce their cattle numbers are to be welcomed. But it should provide little comfort to farmers as negotiations get under way on finalising 2030 emission reduction targets for the sector – currently set within a range of 22-30%.

As identified within a KPMG report, commissioned by the Irish Farmers Journal, the limitations of existing emission reduction technologies would mean that a herd reduction of between 5-22% would be required to achieve an emission reduction within this range. While the Tánaiste and indeed other senior members of Government have dismissed the figures contained within the report, they have yet to come forward with alternative modelling.