By Peter Grimshaw
FARMERS should check that they are not missing out on much-needed subsidy payments before sending cattle to market or abattoir, the Intervention Board warns.
The IB suspects cattle and milk producers may not realise the slaughter premium scheme applies to all bovines aged over eight months, even those that already qualify for the Over Thirty Months Scheme.
However, dairy farmers who are ineligible for other headage payments schemes, may have concluded that they do not qualify for this one either.
A further complication is that the SPS is an IACS-based scheme and some specialist livestock producers who do not submit an IACS form may think that they, too, are excluded from SPS.
The IB, which administers both the SPS and OTMS, is concerned that numbers of applications received so far do not fully reflect those thought to be eligible.
SPS numbers should broadly equal OTMS applications in that age range.
Rod Plinston, IB SPS implementation manager, says “We have been holding forums with MAFF, other industry organisations and farmers since the scheme was introduced and, as a rule, questions tend to be about registration matters.”
“But were probably not getting as many applications as we thought we might have.”
“All producers should look very carefully at eligibility for the SPS,” advises the NFUs Kevin Pearce.
“Technically, the SPS is open to any bovine older than eight months that meets the conditions of the scheme and wed encourage everyone whos eligible to apply.”
He reminds producers that two separate forms must be completed where OTMS animals are involved.