Marts want grants for new ringside screens to show EBI and suckler scheme data

ICOS are to meet the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney next week to discuss the installation on new mart screens to display EBI and Beef Data and Genomics Programme data.

Speaking at a hearing of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture this week ICOS Marts Director Ray Doyle said there needs to a uniform and reasonably immediate implementation of mart boards enabled to take the data and display to farmers all the relevant information they need.

“We are seeking grant aid from the Minister on this, because if you do not get  it you are going to dilute it and slow down the progress.Unless you have the same presentation of the data in Cahersiveen in Kerry as in Raphoe in Donegal it’s going to dilute its effectiveness.

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“We have sought and will be meeting the Minister on this next week for a grant aid programme to speed up the introduction of the boards in marts.”

Doyle said the installation of the boards in marts will cost anything from €8,000 – €10,000 per ring.

“The data at the moment is reasonably simple, but that’s only going to increase.

“When people are buying animals now they have to make as much of their decisions as to what’s on the screen as to the look of the animal and that’s only going to increase.

He said dairy farmers, in particular, are making decisions of the genetic profile rather than the look of the animal.

“Some farmers are more concerned about the cows EBI rather than how she looks,” he said.

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