DEADLINES FOR final bovine subsidy scheme payments are fast approaching, and the Rural Payments Agency is urging farmers to understand fully the dates and final claim procedures.

Final Beef Special Premium scheme claims must be lodged with the RPA by midnight on Dec 6, 2004. Late claims will be accepted, but payment will be scaled back by 1% for every working day the claim is overdue. Any claims entered after Dec 31 will be rejected.

Slaughter Premium claims (and veal calf scheme claims) will be processed by the RPA, but must be lodged six months from the date the animal ends its retention period, or by Feb 28, 2005, whichever comes first. Late claims will be accepted up to 25 days after the deadline, but will again be reduced by 1% a day.

And Suckler Cow Premium claims need to be in by midnight on Dec 6, or risk scale-back 1% a day until a final deadline of Dec 31. Suckler Cow Premium scheme quota ceases trading on Dec 6, after which no transfer or lease forms will be accepted.

NFU livestock adviser Robert Newbery said the NFU was urging members to submit applications on time to maximise claims in the schemes” closing weeks. Further information can be found at