22 October 1999

Ireland focuses on young for quota

IRELAND is targeting its small and young farmers in the hand-out of extra milk quota, agreed as part of the Agenda 2000 reforms earlier this year.

Three-quarters of the quota will go to producers with less than 250,000 litres, (about 40 cows worth), providing they have produced at least 90% of their quota in two out of the past three years, and they have not sold or leased out any over the same period.

The other 25% is for younger producers, who have started milk production since 1993, have met the same 90% usage rule, who were under 35 when they started and who have no more than 159,000 litres. In the beef sector, the Irish ministry has decided to allocate all its national envelope, worth I£8.2m (£6.8m) next year, in the form of additional slaughter premium for heifers.

"The top-up will be confined to beef breeds in order to encourage quality heifer beef production, suitable for the EU market," said a spokesman. This brings the total payment for heifers comes to about I£39/head (£32/head). &#42