IFA call for government to use up-to-date data before introoducing agricultural emissions policy

The government is developing a policy which they say will limit the negative impact of Irish agriculture on the environment.

However, the Irish Farmers Association believes that the government should use the most up-to-date scientific data on Irish agricultural emissions which is currently 1-year into a 5-year calculation process.

The IFA claims that the government’s present proposals are based on figures from 1990, which are no longer relevant.

Ireland is set to introduce caps on agricultural production to limit emissions, based on this data.

It comes after a so-called “burp tax” was introduced in New Zealand last week, meaning sheep and cattle farmers there will have to pay a levy on greenhouse gases caused by livestock.

Courtmacsherry farmer and chairman of Munster IFA, Harold Kingston says there is a huge amount of research being undertaken in Ireland to get an accurate picture of the situation:

“Right now, there’s a lot of research going on with Teagasc for their surveying emissions on 100 actual farms, not just research farms and working out exactly what the emissions are and exactly what the sequestration potential of Irish land is. That’s the number one thing we need because until you can measure it properly realistically, you’re not going to be able to actually control the property. In the meantime, things like proper slurry spraying equipment, breeding better animals, breeding better crops. Those proposals are ones that farmers are buying into and willing to engage with.”


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