THE threat to the future of suckler enterprises across the country – and especially so in the West of Ireland – is expected to draw over 1,200 farmers to a Beef Summit in Ballinasloe next month.
With growing evidence of more and more suckler farmers ‘pulling plant’ and switching to less demanding farm enterprises, there are increasing concerns about the future of Irish cattle farming.
The Beef Summit – organised by the Irish Farmers Journal – will take place in the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe on Thursday, May 9 (7pm to 10pm), and farmers have been asked to note the change in venue.
Originally, it had been fixed for the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone but the switch to a bigger venue in the Shearwater was brought about by a huge interest in the event.
Adam Woods, Beef Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and one of the organisers of the event, said that there was phenomenal interest in the summit, with now a crowd of over 1,200 farmers expected.
He said that while tickets were free for the event, attendees needed to register to allow the organisers ‘keep a handle’ on the numbers attending. Tickets can be got by registering at: farmersjournal.ie/beefsummit
“I think that it is generally accepted across the country that suckler farming is at a critical juncture. The bottom line is that farmers are simply making no money out of sucklers.
“By keeping drystock on their land, they can still get their payments, so many of them are just questioning why they are sticking with a suckler enterprise that’s not delivering any financial reward,” said Adam Woods.
He also said that in terms of timing, a critical element in this was in the negotiation of the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and the role that this could play in providing a financial incentive for farmers to stick with sucklers.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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