Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) president Vincent Roddy has said the Grazing for Carbon Report from 2019, needs to be considered when assessing farming and its impact on climate change.

Roddy was speaking in response to the carbon budgets submitted to Government on Monday by the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) and has taken issue with the proposed reductions in cattle numbers.

Roddy said it is vital to take on board all of the science and not just what suits a particular ideology, when it comes to assessing how farming systems impact climate change.

Roddy commented: “The Grazing for Carbon Report is there for all to view and I would, even at this late stage, ask the Climate Change Advisory Council to study it carefully and not be afraid to review their suggestions after they conduct this task.

“Proposals to reduce the suckler herd to as low as 200,000 cows in one of the five scenarios outlined ignore the positive benefit of extensive farming systems as practiced by our suckler farmers."

Detailed insight

In outlining this Roddy pointed to the EU Commission report published in September 2019 that verified this fact.

“This report, which was developed by 23 key stakeholders from 13 different countries across Europe including Deirdre Hennessy from Ireland, provides a detailed insight into the sustainable grazing and its impact in sequestering carbon,” he insisted.

The INHFA president outlined that the organisation is currently assessing the CCAC report and its impact, not just for farming but the wider rural economy.