The IFA is taking a fourth day of action over beef prices, with a protest continuing outside Musgrave's distribution centre in Co Kildare.

IFA Kildare county chair and deputy presidential candidate, Brian Rushe who was at the protest Tuesday morning said: “I’m just highlighting the case in terms of the retailers. My father and brother are involved in that business, but that has no connection to my business whatsoever, my wife and I are farming and that’s it.

"I’m here today just highlighting the fact that low prices are effecting beef farmers and we need to put pressure on distribution centres and now the retailers, to send a message back to the processors that we need better prices.”

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Impact on farmers

Some of the farmers on the protest line have already made significant changes on their farms as a result of the losses incurred by suckler farming.

Paddy Donelly from Mullingar spoke of making the switch to forward stores. “It’s so hard to get a living out of beef at the moment, I’ve switched to forward stores. I sell my forward stores for around €660 in the springtime, I made that decision about two years ago because the price just wasn’t there for the beef. I’m not sure that I was ahead of the game, but you have to keep your options open,” he said.

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Adrian Elliott, a farmer from Athlone has also made changes to the way his farm and home is run, saying: “I was involved in bulls, which took the biggest hit of all this year so part of my farm was turned out towards contract rearing for dairy farms because I just can’t afford to keep cattle. I had to make the decision before the decision was made for me.”

Henry Burns, a suckler to beef farmer from Co Laois said that the Beef Market Taskforce has taken too long: “When you see the average farm income on a beef farm being just over €8,000 it tells you all you need to know. So now with the markets improving all over Europe and around the world, we want to see a reaction from the factories and we certainly need it desperately”.

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