DEAR SIR: As an ordinary drystock farmer, devoted and committed reader of the Irish Farmers Journal for well over 60 years, the front and other pages in a recent edition recommending a huge reduction in suckler cow numbers was the most defeatist and distressing I’ve ever seen.

How do Teagasc and so many other commentators know so much that they can tell the producers of this wonderful beef about how uneconomical it will be to produce such quality cattle?

In all they have and in all they know, they never mentioned six months ago that the price of beef would be what it is today. Who knows what price beef or anything else will be when the progeny of the suckler cows that are being put in calf now are fit for slaughter. We have the best and most environmentally friendly way in the world of producing this quality beef. We know how to do it and we’re very good at it.

The large number of farmers who invest so much time, money and expertise in this way of farming do so much for employment and businesses in our rural communities. The Greens and quite a few watered down greens in our more traditional parties will be delighted with this advice, as will the dairy farmers, as a way of reducing the size of the national herd with their deluded ideas about climate change.

Meanwhile, as reported in the Irish Farmers Journal in recent times, Brazil and Argentina are planning great expansions in their cattle herds. The stupidity of what is being done in this very green little island, responsible for 0.01% of the carbon emissions of the world, beggars belief. Next year we will not be allowed to burn either a few bushes or a sod of turf. Take a look around the vast continents of the world, the ships, the planes, the wars, the many industries etc. We can do nothing about climate change as with the price of beef – it is what happens worldwide that will dictate. If the Atlantic Ocean came in over us and wiped us out it would make no difference to the global problem of climate change. Why are we penalising ourselves? We are a food producing and food exporting nation. This is our great industry.