The IFA Regional Executive officer for Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo says the organisation is asking politicians to consider the implications of reducing the national herd to meet climate goals.
Sean McKeon was speaking in the wake of comments in recent days from Eamon Ryan who said farmers will be provided with alternative income streams when they help to cut carbon by 30%.
The Minister is said to be adamant that cabinet will agree a 30% cut in carbon by the end of this month, but it's understood there are significant differences in government about the issue.
The IFA Regional officer says farmers are making the argument that their beef and dairy production is among the most efficient in the world and there is a real risk of 'carbon leakage' if they cut down on production.
'There's no irrigation system in this country, okay we've had a couple of hot days recently, I'm in Co Leitrim today and it's raining.
There's a huge argument on the risk of carbon leakage , y'know if we don't produce this food , and it's a huge part of our economy, it will be produced in Brazil where they're burning down rain forests etc..
It's very difficult at the moment because the Dail is obviously in recess , it's going to be a Cabinet decision so we're appealing to government TD's and backbenchers to speak to their senior TD's and people that are on the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee,to look at this, and look at what it possibly can do to local agriculture, and the local rural economy.'