26 February 1999

Compensation cash demand

QUICK payment of this years Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances is being demanded by farmers leaders since it contains £60m of emergency funding announced three months ago.

"It is vital that this money is released to farmers as quickly as possible," says Arwyn Owen, Farmers Union of Wales commodities officer. "Any delay will prolong the hardship they are facing."

Payments have been increased by 55%. Cows in disadvantaged areas attract £36.69 a head, ewes £4.09. Cattle payments are doubled in severely disadvantaged areas, while hardy breed ewes attract £8.88 a head. Payments on other ewes in SDAs are limited to £4.64. Most farmers will receive payments by the end of March, says the ministry.

A typical hill farmer in an SDA with 500 ewes and 50 cows will be £2800 better off, adding about 40% to the average income, says the NFU.

&#8226 New suckler cow producers can apply for extra quota from the 1999 national reserve from Mar 2. &#42