IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said the price cuts on bulls have seriously eroded the beef market with factories undercutting each other on our export markets.
In addition, confidence at farm level has been eroded and needs to be restored.
The suckler cow herd is under major threat and much tighter specifications on bulls in respect of age, weight and price will threaten numbers in the future.
Winter finishing and year-round beef production to service the higher priced retail contracts is also under pressure.
Henry Burns pointed out that the beef price crisis on bulls has major implications for the Food Harvest 2020 beef targets, exports and jobs involved in the beef sector.
He pointed out that in our largest export market in the UK, the sterling exchange rate had improved in recent weeks. In addition he said steers and heifers in the UK are making the equivalent from €4.50 to €4.80/kg including vat.
“At these price returns in our largest market it is very difficult for Irish farmers to understand why our prices are under such pressure.”
The IFA Livestock Leader said the price cuts must stop and factories must stabilise the market situation.
“Winter finishers have been hit with severe losses and they need to get cattle killed and especially bulls before any specification cuts are imposed.”