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The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today announced the opening of a Mart Modernisation Scheme to assist livestock marts in the purchase of new display screens. These will provide real-time information on animals for sale thus allowing farmers ringside in marts to view the ICBF star ratings for beef breeding stock and also EBIs for dairy stock.

Pictured at the launch of the Mart Modernization scheme which was launched at Bandon Mart Co Cork was Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed TD who launched the scheme. Picture Denis Boyle

Commenting on the scheme the Minister said “the marts play a critical role in the trade of animals in Ireland and it’s essential that the purchasers of stock have the most up to date information to inform their buying decisions. This scheme will help to provide this information by linking real-time ICBF data for display on mart screens while animals are in the ring. It will hugely assist farmers in the purchase of breeding stock for participation in the Beef Data Genomics Programme to ensure compliance with the 4&5 star breeding stock requirements of the Programme. It will also allow dairy farmers have up to date information when purchasing breeding stock

The scheme will be open from today and interested marts are asked to contact the Department at [email protected] or go directly to download the application forms from the Department’s website at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/beef/martmodernisationscheme/

Concluding the Minister said “the implementation of the Beef data and Genomics programme is progressing very well and the 24,000 participants are currently undergoing training on aspects of the scheme. The requirements around replacement strategy are a key component of the scheme and grand-aiding these screens will help farmers to be better informed when making purchasing decisions on 4 and 5 star animals in marts”.