5 December 1997

ACCscheme is common sense based

COMMON sense and ingenuity will help farmers meet the demands of the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme, visitors to a Grain 97 quality assurance seminar heard last week.

Birds can be kept out of grain stores easily and cheaply by using old fishing net, for example. And corrugated tin can be tacked to Yorkshire boarding to keep the elements out, said John ORourke who has been deeply involved in Scottish Quality Cereals.

Loading shovels used for muck can be power-hosed clean and beef yards can be made hygienic by the use of disinfectants.

Common sense

"Much of the ACC scheme is based on common sense," he added. Farmers may have to invest in plastic dust covers for light bulbs, but that is understandable when a tiny fragment of "milled" glass could tear open a childs stomach.

"Trust also plays an important role in the scheme," he added. Under certain circumstances farmers will be able to store grain outside for up to 24 hours and livestock buildings housing cattle can be inspected and verified over the winter months.

Farmers shouldnt expect a definite pass or fail from first inspection, he added. After initial inspection, a farmer may be given breathing space to make small modifications where necessary.

"Most farmers are probably meeting 95% of the schemes requirements already. But those farmers without a chemical store or appropriate spraying certification cannot expect to pass."