Plowing 2023: Abolition of dairy quotas ‘right thing’ – Coveney

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Plowing 2023: Abolition of dairy quotas 'right thing' – Coveney

The National Plowing Championships 2023 Source: @NPAIE

It was always clear that with the abolition of dairy quotas that all farmers had an obligation towards “the environment, towards ecosystems, towards wildlife, towards water quality,” according to the Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney said.

Speaking today (Tuesday, September 19) at the National Plowing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois, Minister Coveney also said “farmers understand nature an awful lot better than many of the people who are commenting on what goes on in farmyards”.

Minister Coveney has defended the abolition of milk quotas – when he was Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“For years the Irish dairy industry was operating in a strait jacket, a lot of young people had no interest in taking over with their family farms because they couldn’t grow, they couldn’t expand and they couldn’t fulfill the potential of their farms and so the abolition of dairy quotas was the right thing to do,” the minister said.

He believes that the “vast majority of dairy farmers that have grown and expanded have done so in the right way”.

“What we have now is an Irish government working with the European Commission, to make sure that we can ensure that there is an attractive future for farming and also that we protect the environment in doing that,” Minister Coveney added during a press briefing at the National Plowing Championships.

He also said that there would be parts of the country that would not be impacted by the European Commission’s ruling in relation to Ireland’s nitrates derogation and would stay at 250kg of organic nitrogen (N) per hectare.

“I think the next step here is to invite the commissioner to Ireland formally, the Taoiseach is happy to do that supported by Minister McConalogue as well.

“I know farm leaders want the opportunity to want to talk to him directly to show what Irish farmers are doing because Irish dairy farmers and not just dairy farmers but beef and sheep and tillage farmers have done an enormous amount in the last number of years to respond to environmental concerns and pressures and they are continuing to do that and are committed to that,” Minister Coveney added.


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