Any environmental changes which will be required in the agricultural sector will cost money – and the bulk of the adjustments will have to be made by the dairy sector, according to director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle.

Professor Boyle was speaking after Teagasc’s report yesterday which found that dairy farms produce three times more greenhouse gas emissions than beef enterprises.

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association has been reacting to the report and Professor Boyle’s comments.

Gerry Loftus, who is also a member of the association’s committee on forestry and climate change, says that not all farmers are equal and it would not fair to penalise all farmers in the same manner when it comes to combating climate change.

He said they are happy to see that Teagasc has recognised this in this report and that rural Ireland is at a disadvantage when it comes to agriculture and profit margins in farming.

It is believed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change’s report of recommendations, due to be published tomorrow will recommend a “fundamental redirection of Irish agriculture” away from a reliance on dairy and beef and move towards horticulture.

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