13 October 2000

Government urged to aid cereal men

PRESSURE is building on the government to apply for aid to ease the plight of cereal farmers.

The NFU says time is running out for the Treasury to apply for the £91m of agrimoney compensation still available to growers. Unless it does so by the end of this month, farmers will miss out on the payments, which are worth about £18/ha (£7.30/acre).

NFU president Ben Gill says appalling weather, rising production costs, grain prices at 1975 levels and the effect of the strong £ have turned this years harvest into the worst for 30 years.

"The final countdown has started. It is now vital the Treasury acknowledges this assistance and applies for those desperately needed help."

Mr Gill has written to all rural MPs outlining the case, and a series of farm visits with politicians and government officials is planned. &#42