26 January 1996

HLCA claimants are cutting it fine

SHEEP producers are leaving it to the last minute to claim their annual premium and HLCAs.

With only a week to go until the final deadline (Feb 4), MAFF reports that only a quarter of the expected number of applications have been received.

"A small but significant number of forms have not been filled in correctly and have had to be sent back," says junior farm minister Tony Baldry. "In many cases, information on the location of animals during the retention period was not provided."

Late claims will be accepted up to Feb 29 but payment will be reduced by 1% per day late.

Producers are also reminded that the closing date for the second trading period for 1994 sheep and suckler cow quota and for applications to the 1995 national reserves is on Jan 31.

lSheep market managers in Brussels have set a final ewe premium payment for 1995 of £21.26 a head, ahead of previous estimates. Advances of £12.34 have already been paid, leaving £8.92 to go out in April. &#42