The IFA is looking for a minimum payment of €100/head for farmers in Ireland’s CAP strategic plan for a cattle-rearing and finishing scheme.

Such a scheme would expand the scope of the current Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme and include farmers who rear all beef animals from the suckler herd, including store and finishing farmers. “The scheme must deliver meaningful payments to farmers who rear and finish weanlings and stores from suckler farms,” it said in its CAP submission to the Department of Agriculture.

The scheme must be available to all farmers who rear cattle, including those from suckler herds, it added.

The IFA is also proposing a minimum payment of €300/suckler cow, €30/ewe, the expansion of the dairy calf scheme into a new cattle-rearing and finishing scheme and the introduction of a new tillage scheme.

It also called for a €10,000 base payment in a new agri-environment scheme, plus results-based payments.

Farmers on designated land and/or commonages must have priority access to all schemes and must be paid at a higher rate, it said.

The IFA said it rejects any “caps” or “limits” on the number of cows or animals at individual farm level or nationally and for any requirements being imposed on farmers to join Bord Bia Quality Assurance schemes.

Specific schemes

It called for specific schemes in Pillar II for tillage, adding that tillage farmers will be severely impacted by convergence and eco-schemes.

It said an enhanced GLAS Plus-style scheme with a higher maximum annual payment is one potential option to help offset the loss of income resulting from convergence.

On farm investments, it said grant aid should be available for slurry covers, as well as slurry storage to assist farmers in achieving future compliance requirements and the dairy investment scheme must be reinstated in any future TAMS.