4 December 1998

Extensification payments there for the taking

TOO few beef producers claim super-extensification payments and should adjust their enterprise and subsidy claims to ensure that they can.

Robin Hobson, director of Laurence Gould, warned that producers were missing out on a chance to boost returns by not claiming super-extensification.

"These payments are there for the taking. Adjusting your business and claiming these payments can leave you in a far stronger financial position."

Stocking rates must be under 1 livestock unit a hectare (0.4/acre) to claim super-extensification. Mr Hobson suggested that where stocking rates were too high to allow that, producers could rent additional land. That had to be used as part of the farm unit, but it would pay even where cattle were 40 miles away and someone was employed to look after the animals on a part-time basis, he said.

"Another option is to consider claiming for fewer animals to achieve super-extensification limits – sell some steers on green CIDs.

"Under super-extensification, BSP claims must be managed carefully. While the second claim can be made after 21 months old, when cattle reach 24 months they count for one livestock unit rather than the 0.6 units. This makes a huge difference to stocking density, so careful subsidy claim management is vital," warned Mr Hobson. &#42