New feed scheme on budget agenda as Secretary McConalogue also hopes to ‘keep’ all farm tax breaks.

Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue is considering a new feed program and maintaining tax breaks for farms as part of budget preparation.

I am assessing the situation,” said Minister McConalogue, who spoke to the Independent Farming in Tokyo, Japan, as part of a trade mission to Southeast Asia by Bord Bia and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“I am certainly, like farmers, concerned about where we are at the moment in terms of the costs they are experiencing in terms of budget design and indeed how we are monitoring things going forward.

“Of course, feed regulation is part of these considerations. Also, mentioning the grain system and what it means in terms of trying to improve local grains is something we’re considering.”

Asked if he would push for retaining tax breaks for farms on carbon taxes and inheritance taxes, he said: “That’s my goal – to keep everything.

“Agriculture is given strong and favorable consideration in certain taxes because of the importance of the family farm model and the importance of ensuring that daughters and sons, nieces and nephews can inherit the farm and continue the family farm tradition, to ensure that they are encouraged young farmers.

“Absolutely, it would be my full intention and working with Minister Paschal Donohue, I have to say he has been very supportive in this regard over the past few years.”

Minister McConalogue stressed concerns about the impact of inflation on farmers and the wider community as a whole.

“I was very aware from the start of how that was affecting farm-gate levels, with the increased cost pressures on fertilizers for example, also the increased cost pressures on grain, fuel – like everyone else,” he said.

“My approach as Minister was to try to respond in every way I could to the real challenges farmers are facing at any given moment.”

The minister was also asked for his opinion on the new €12/t drying and energy fee Boortmalt is imposing on growers and frustration with communication at farm representative level.

“It’s up to both Boortmalt and farm representatives to communicate and communicate about each other’s challenges,” he said.

“The main goal is to increase grain production nationally and also the area within it that is planted for whiskey production and distillation. So it’s really important that farmers get a really fair price and are rewarded for their work.”

Minister McConalogue said he was confident that Ireland’s application for PGI grass-fed beef would be accepted soon, but that nothing could be taken for granted until it was finally finalized at European level.

Farmers will also be updated on Ag Climatise and the Climate Action Plan as they make progress. “We’re very fortunate with the farming system that we have and how sustainable it is, in the fact that we have a grass-based livestock model that produces the highest quality milk protein and meat protein and grains and vegetables, but we built it on that,” he says.

“We have a plan for Ag Climatise and a plan to reach 25 percent in terms of negotiations
which ended at the end of summer.

“The key message I have is the start of the journey to the key deliverables that we can deliver in the short term such as: New feed scheme on budget agenda as Secretary McConalogue also hopes to ‘keep’ all farm tax breaks.

Fry Electronics Team

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