DEAR EDITOR: I am a 70-year-old suckler farmer. For the past five years, I was a participant in the genomics and weighing schemes.

The quality of my cows improved very significantly. At this stage, 85% of my females are eligible for the new scheme.

Reluctantly, I cannot join the new scheme due to my age, as I cannot commit to a scheme that I am forced to participate in until I am 75 years old.

Having been a participant in the old scheme, I cannot understand why farmers cannot join each year.

Another reason not to apply

A provision could be put in that if you opted out one year, you could not re-join.

The fact that the new constraint of being Bord Bia-approved included this year for the first time is another reason not to apply.