Farmers buying dairy calves to benefit from beef talks – Healy

Changes to the in-spec bonus will be of benefit to “beef farmers that have bought calves from the dairy herd”, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Joe Healy, has outlined.

Healy noted that during the beef sector reform talks he raised the issue that “maybe there are other cohorts of cattle that are more entitled or more in need of it than the O- 4+ cattle”.

The IFA president was referring to the 12c/kg in-spec bonus that was a hot topic during the talks.

During the talks, the factories proposed to broaden the in-spec bonus criteria to cover O- conformation and 4+ fat class for steers and heifers.

Speaking to AgriLand at the 78th Virginia Show which is taking place today, Wednesday, August 21, Healy said: “Unfortunately, the precondition that we couldn’t talk about price was the elephant in the room.”

While one of the main events of the day is the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow competition, a major talking point at the event is the outcome following the conclusion of the beef sector reform talks in the early hours of this morning.

Continuing, Healy said: “Talking to farmers, it’s all about price and some of the other issues are very distant seconds – but they also have an influence.

The bottom line is: The farmer that was quoted €3.50 yesterday morning for steers was quoted that again this morning and will be tomorrow morning.

Healy noted the movements that were made “have to be welcomed” and mentioned the 70-day rule being moved back to 60 days and the in-spec bonus for the O- and 4+ livestock.

Concluding, Healy said: “IFA’s policy is that the Quality Assured (QA) bonus should be paid on all prime stock from a quality assured herd.”