Farm leaders have had their say on the many critical issues facing farming. As the CAP consultation phase draws to a close, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue met on Wednesday with representatives of the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA, INHFA and Macra na Feirme.

The Nitrates Action Programme proposals are also exercising farmers.

Pillar I direct payment changes have been well signalled, but Pillar II co-funding levels by Government, and schemes, are also of major concern.

With the Climate Change Advisory Council due to soon deliver the national carbon reduction targets for the decade ahead to the Government, the sectoral target for agriculture also featured as a leading issue.

Minister McConalogue is due to meet the Irish Grain Growers, Beef Plan and the Irish Beef and Lamb Association next week.