Ireland: "The dairy cow can’t pay for everything", says Arthur

Cow Milk
Innovation & Technology
Published Feb 22, 2024

Tridge summary

Stephen Arthur, chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association Dairy Committee, has criticised the government for its lack of support for the dairy sector, particularly for farmers with herds of 40-60 cows struggling to comply with EU regulations on nitrates and water quality. He argues these policies are damaging the dairy sector, a key part of rural Ireland, and expresses frustration over the environmental impact of a potential 25% increase in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport, which he feels is being offset by the dairy industry. Arthur predicts many dairy farmers will go out of business in the next five to six years due to exhaustion and a desire to leave the industry, and suggests solutions such as grants for enhanced slurry storage facilities and using carbon taxes to incentivise early cattle slaughter.
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Original content

The chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Dairy Committee has accused the government of a lack of support for the dairy sector. Stephen Arthur said that farmers with herds of between 40-60 cows are under pressure to comply with regulations coming from the European Union, particularly around nitrates and water quality. “We have a department of agriculture that seems to be willing to carry out the instructions of European policy. “They seem to be a pro-European policy department and they don’t understand the consequences of these policies inside farm gate. “You take a guy there with 60 cows and he has everything done, everything proper. He has to gather up maybe 10,12 or 14 acres to keep his cows, to keep where he is, and he has to pay €330-400/ac for it, just to hold onto what he has,” he told Agriland. Dairy Arthur said that the dairy farm is the “main fabric of rural Ireland” but it is being “obliterated” by government policy. “Teagasc has shown that reducing the stocking ...
Source: AgriLand
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