Farm income projections from the Teagasc Mid-Year Outlook Report “reinforce the position” that the €100 million fund in beef exceptional aid should go to beef finishers and sucker farmers only, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Commenting on the matter, ICSA president, Edmond Phelan, said: “Beef incomes are expected to languish while dairy incomes are projected to bounce back significantly through 2019.

“Beef farmers remain under serious pressure and they continue to lose money hand over fist.

The ICSA is adamant that all exceptional aid funds should go to those farmers whose primary enterprise is beef – and those farmers only.

“The expectation from the outset was always that beef finishers and suckler farmers would be the beneficiaries of this aid.

“They are completely dependent on the state of the beef trade and they are the ones who have suffered the greatest hardship from Brexit related price pressures,” Phelan said.

Continuing, he added:

For this fund to have any real impact it must not be watered down by spreading it out to thinly.

“The priority now has to be channelling the funds to those it was always destined for and delivering it in the shortest possible time-frame,” the ICSA president concluded.