Teagasc national farm survey data for 2021 again shows the serious income challenges within the suckler, beef finishing and sheep sectors, and their reliance on direct payments. These payments account for almost 100% of family farm income on beef and sheep farms, while on suckler farms they accounted for 150% of income and almost 50% of gross output.

In this context, it is incredulous to think that no economic modelling was carried out to assess the impact of new CAP policies on the income of these farmers. Clearly this is something that the Teagasc beef open day in July must fully address. The figures further reinforce why many of these low-income farmers will have little choice but to follow the direct supports into organic farming and Teagasc advice must reflect this.