Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has ruled out introducing any scheme to compensate dairy farmers to cull cows from their herds.

An exit and reduction scheme had been recommended by the Food Vision dairy group.

“While I can’t control the market or the weather, I can give clarity around certain policy directions, including taking the dairy cow reduction scheme off the table,” the Minister told the Irish Farmers Journal.

The Minister’s comments come as co-op CEOs pile pressure on the Government to come up with a roadmap to ensure that Ireland’s nitrates derogation is retained.

Lakeland Dairies CEO Colin Kelly has said farmers and co-ops “need to see the plan” for its retention.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that Denmark will not be applying for an extension to its derogation once the current one expires in July.

Ireland will be the only EU member state to seek a derogation from 2026 onwards.