Laois IFA sheep chairman Joe Whyte said it is absolutely imperative that the Minister Coveney rolls over the Sheep Grassland payment in the budget on October 15 for 2014.
He said this will form the basis for a strong and targeted ewe payment in the CAP implementation going forward. He pointed out that the new CAP will not commence until 2015.
Mr Whyte said sheep farmers have come through a very difficult year compounded by the current poor market and price period. He said the severe spring and fodder crisis on top of much higher costs have all hit incomes hard.
The Laois IFA sheep farmer said flock owners suffered cuts in the sheep grassland payment and REPS last year. The Disadvantaged Areas and the Suckler Cow scheme hit the low income sheep sector very hard. He said Minister Coveney must restore the full Sheep Grassland payment on October 15.
Mr Whyte said the lamb market has strengthened this week driven by strong demand for the Muslim festival on October 15. He said factory prices have hardened with €4.50/4.55/kg common and some top prices of €4.60/kg paid. Mart prices have also improved with some live buying at €2.20/kg.