DEAR SIR: I attended the Teagasc open day in Grange. It was good to see the suckler cow herd on display and all the good-quality cattle.
There was a time before the rush to dairy farming that a suckler herd of this quality that was on display was seen in a positive light.
Also, it is great to see the Minister for Agriculture announce a suckler cow payment. It is important that the suckler cow farmer gets the benefit of the payment. The payment cannot be used to inflate cow prices.
Usually if there is a payment, the price of purchasing a cow will go through the roof. Hopefully, the payment will put a little bit of stability into the suckler cow sector.
The high farm input costs will lead to a reduction in cattle numbers – despite the powers that be insisting that reducing cattle numbers is not the policy.
There are plenty of farmers that will be able to deal with the exceptionally high prices and there will be those that will struggle.
The Minister for Agriculture repeated at the Teagasc Grange open day that growing feed for winter has to be prioritised.
That is easy to say, but in reality it will be a challenge with the high fertiliser prices.
Unfortunately it looks like the powers that be are happy for farming to become the survival of the fittest.