2 May 1997

Calf scheme compensation payments cut

BRUSSELS market managers are cutting compensation under the calf processing scheme by £3.71 a head.

The move follows requests by UK representatives at last weeks EU farm council, who argued that the scheme was putting too high a floor in the market and squeezing margins for beef finishers. Too many calves were also going into the scheme in the UK, which last year contributed 80% of the number killed, they added.

The new rates, to take effect shortly, will be £85.36 for dairy types and £107.63 for beef breeds.

But the NFU swiftly condemned the move. "The cuts will hit all dairy and suckler cow producers, while doing precious little to assist beef producers if it leads to over-production in the future," said president, Sir David Naish.

The impending green £ revaluation on June 5 will further trim the payments.

lRequests by the Irish for private storage aid for beef, after recent cuts in export subsidies, have been rejected in Brussels. But the commission has accepted all Irish beef tendered in the latest intervention round, totalling 4664t. GB traders had their bids scaled back by 75% to 1471t of steer beef, as prices tendered came in above the 185p/kg dw threshold. &#42