A cattle slaughter premium is likely to be included in the Government’s Climate Action Plan, the Irish Farmers Journal understands.

The measure is designed to encourage farmers to slaughter cattle at a younger age.

The aim is to incentivise farmers to reduce the average age at slaughter from 27 months to 24 months.

Such a move would lead to a 12.5% reduction in methane emissions from the herd, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said earlier this week.

There have been suggestions that the incentive would come from a public-private partnership model between the Government and meat factories.

The Climate Action Plan is due to be unveiled by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Thursday 4 November.

It will include more than 60 actions for the agriculture sector, which will be necessary to reach greenhouse gas reductions of between 21% and 30%.

In addition to a younger slaughter age, the core measures of the plan will also include a 20% cut in bagged nitrogen use to 325,000t by 2030, and the planting of 8,000ha of trees per year between now and the end of the decade.

The Irish Farmers Journal also understands that there are wide-ranging discussions taking place on the potential for a farmer retirement scheme, designed to reduce sectoral carbon emissions.