Kestrel Forestry Services

Increase Forestry Reduce Suckler Numbers

December 05, 2017

Recently retired head of the Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land Use Programme Paddy Browne has advocated a reduction in the National Suckler Herd in favour of planting the same lands with trees.


Browne continued: “To me that’s the biggest issue at the moment. There’s no logic for the maintenance of the suckler herd and it’s so political that you can’t say that.

“The government have been afraid to say it in Food Harvest and Food Wise. It was the elephant in the room. We can achieve our dairy targets, but we need to increase forestry because of GHGs and we need to reduce sucklers because of GHGs; and because there is no money in it  Reducing the suckler herd is mutually compatible with the increase in the dairy herd.

“The farming organisations do now realise that the future of the beef industry in this country will come from the dairy herd and not from the suckler herd. That’s catching hold in the dairy areas where the expansion is taking hold.

Our GHG targets are completely dependent on an increase in forestry and it’s not happening at the moment.

“We’re under 6,000ha/year in re-plantings and to meet our longer term targets on GHGs, as a sector, we need to be planting about 12,000ha/year. That’s at least double what we’re doing at the minute. There’s no chance of that happening with the current policies that are there and the current level of planting grants.


Paddy Browne speaking at the National Tillage Conference in 2014

Souirce: Agriland.


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