The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) are to met Farm Minister Simon Coveney in early June to discuss the fine detail of the new CAP measures.

“We still want clarification on how the Minister intends supporting the drystock sectors,” Policy Officer Geoff Hamilton told Agriland.

“At this stage it may not be possible for the Minister to separate out the Sheep Grassland Scheme from the Pillar 1 monies. That puts the onus on getting enhanced support for suckler beef and sheep farmers courtesy of the new Rural Development Programme.

“We have already called for a €1,600 per farm top-up under the new GLAS scheme. This will be linked to the implementation of management systems, which help reduce the Carbon Footprint of both sectors.

“The money is available to meet this requirement. Moreover, the Minister himself has stressed the importance of implementing improved animal welfare and environmental protection measures within the cattle and sheep sectors. We believe that our proposals meet this requirement in full.”

Meanwhile, ICSA has also confirmed that it will have a major presence at the World Sheep Shearing Championships, which get underway in Gorey, Co Wexford  tomorrow.

Geoff Hamilton again: “We have approximately 10,000 members, countrywide. ICSA President Patrick Kent will be on our stand at Gorey over the four days of the event. He and other leading members of the association will be available to any questions which members, or non-members, might have.

“No doubt CAP reform will feature prominently in the conversations entered into at the shearing event. Lamb prices are holding up well at the present time. As a consequence, sheep producers are in reasonable form. However, there is no room for complacency. And this is a message that we will communicating in the clearest possible terms to those farmers visiting our stand at Gorey.”