There has been renewed calls for protection of the suckler herd.
It comes amid concern in some quarters that suckler and dairy farmers are being pitted against each other in the debate about reducing the national herd as part of the effort to deal with carbon emissions and climate change.
Any moves to cut the number of sucker cows would have severe consequences for the west and north west, where the weanling trade is particularly important.
Recently, Professor Gerry Boyle of the farm advisory service Teagasc suggested suckler farmers should rear dairy calves as a more viable enterprise than suckler farming.
But this is something Gerry Loftus of the Rural Ireland Organisation is strongly disputing.