29 September 2000

Compensation forms out

FORMS for claiming agrimonetary compensation went out to milk producers this week, with the Intervention Board promising a prompt turnaround.

The 0.156p/litre payment, agreed at the Prime Ministers agriculture summit last spring, will be based on the quota held on March 31, including any leased-in quota. This is to ensure that non-producing quota holders do not get the money.

For a producer with 100 cows averaging 6000 litres, the compensation will be worth about £900, helping to offset some of the reduction in dairy prices.

Combined with the recent £10m payout by the Residuary Milk Marketing Board – worth about £350 a producer – and the £15m from Milk Marque, it will provide a useful top-up to cash flow.

The NFU has expressed anger that it has taken so long to get the cash, blaming Intervention Board computer glitches and printing problems. "We worked hard to win this money. It is unacceptable that farmers have had to wait so long," says milk committee chairman Terrig Morgan.

A total of £22m is being paid to compensate for the slump in intervention prices last milk year, with the possibility of more to come. "We will be pushing hard for this," says NFU milk assistant Tom Hind.

Scottish NFU president Jim Walker urged producers not to rush out and buy more milk quota, causing that market to overheat. &#42