Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (707)

Holly Cairns


707. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the current organic beef stocking rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2670/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A minimum stocking level is considered important in organic production systems for effective grassland management, to ensure productive swards and to maintain and improve biodiversity. Livestock on the organic farm facilitates effective organic manure and nutrient recycling, thereby improving soil fertility and productivity.

The Organic Farming Scheme payment is computed on the basis of a minimum stocking rate of 0.5 Livestock Units per Hectare, which equates to 32.5 kg Organic Nitrate per hectare/per annum. Farmers with a stocking level of 0.5 livestock units or greater per hectare receive full payment. However, farmers not achieving this stocking level do receive payment on a pro-rata basis.

I have no plans currently to amend these stocking rates.