DEAR SIR: I read with interest in the Irish Farmers Journal two articles that sum up where we are at with farming. One article was talking about potential suckler cow reductions and the other was talking more positively about the dairy industry.
The beef industry has a future and is needed. The suckler herd has a place and will suit farms.
The Minister for Agriculture is correct to say that he wants part-time farmers to be able to earn an income from their farms and put financial value on the work that they do on the farm.
At the moment, there are a lot of challenges to all farm sectors. Access to chemical fertiliser is a huge problem when the current farm model is based on a lot of fertiliser.
Now the model is changing to less chemical fertiliser, which is interesting but will take time to implement.
As is well known, soil fertility is key to getting lots of grass growth once the weather provides good growing conditions.
Improving soil fertility has to be a priority. It is critical that the EU protects food production and does not let food production be outsourced to non-EU countries.