The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to change the 15 April crude protein limit deadline to 1 May.

This is despite the Minister loosening the rules last Friday, allowing farmers who still have animals housed and are not out grazing full-time to feed concentrates with a crude protein content higher than 15%.

While the ICMSA welcomed this change, it has looked for the exemption process to be simplified from its current form of needing a FAS adviser or nutritionist to sign on a higher crude protein concentrate being used.


“To be honest, you only have to look out the window to see the justification for an extension, so the decision is welcome. But the ICMSA thinks the Minister should have simply changed the date from 15 April to 1 May and certainly dispensed with the need for a paper trail," ICMSA deputy president Eamon Carroll has said.

Farmers, he added, have enough on their plate without this additional requirement and having to involve advisers at one of the most busiest times of the year.

“So the exemption is required and is a welcome development, but the Minister should change the procedure for securing the exemption by simply extending the date to 1 May with an option for further exstension, remove the paper trail requirement and actually helping farmers deal with the serious challenges facing them at this time," he said.