By FWi staff

FARMERS need to ensure an outlet for their calves following the end of the Calf Processing aid scheme (CPAS) at the end of this month, according to the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC).

“If you cant claim the Beef Special Premium Scheme, this will not be a runner,” said MLC chairman, Don Curry speaking at the Royal Show.

“There is genuine concern among producers that the end of the CPAS will leave them with valueless calves which will drain their businesses of much-needed funds.

“Beef farmers are questioning the viability of rearing these calves,” he added.

Senior MLC economist Duncan Sinclair believes that closure of the CPAS scheme will largely affect dairy producers.

And with the resumption of UK live cattle exports unlikely for some considerable time, producers are facing the stark reality of a significant decline in the value of their bull calves once CPAS ends, he said.

If farmers are planning to rear these calves, Mr Sinclair said, careful consideration, planning and budgeting must be undertaken before any commitment or decision is made to consider rearing calves to beef.

“Consider the various options which are available before deciding on a course of action,” said Mr Sinclair.

“Time spent now planning, budgeting and making sound business decisions may prove invaluable at a later date.”

The MLC has published a four-page advisory leaflet which will be available to farmers at the Royal Show highlighting some of the key issues they need to consider.