DEAR EDITOR: I am calling on Minister Charlie McConalogue, to immediately review the stark differences in charges for genotyping.

Unacceptable costs

It is totally unacceptable that a suckler farmer will pay €600 to genotype his 30 calves, while a dairy farmer with 150 calves can genotype his calves for €600 also.

To put this in a simpler form, a suckler farmer will pay €20 a calf/genotype and a dairy farmer will pay €4 for the exact same genotype test.

I seriously question the logic or fairness in this. It is poor reward for beef farmers who have been genotyping their calves for the past six to seven years.

At the rate the national suckler herd is reducing, we should be the first to get money out of the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund and get our calves genotyped for free.

Confidence in ICBF lost

I would go so far as to say that this move has undermined my confidence in the genotyping programme being operated by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), because if they allow a differential in charges like this to happen, I have serious concerns about the weighting of different traits and if the said results might be more favourable towards the dairy lobby.

I am calling on the IFA rep who sits on the board of the ICBF to state clearly what the IFA’s position is on this.