24 August 2001

Movement rules add to paperwork

FOOT-AND-MOUTH movement regulations have added to beef producers paperwork this year.

But Cornwall-based producer Ian Scott is ensuring he claims all subsidies by adopting a simple cattle tagging system.

Mr Scott aims for as many Beef Special Premium claims as possible without raising stocking rates beyond the point at which he qualifies for extensification payments. For most cattle, that means finishing them quickly within cost constraints.

The ideal is one BSP animal in a little over two months, or two BSP claims in just over four months when unclaimed cattle can be found at the right age.

To qualify for slaughter premium, cattle must remain on the farm at least two months and there is the 21-day standstill rule under F&M control regulations to consider.

Mr Scott has developed a workmanlike system to cope with it all. When cattle arrive they are given a management tag. This tag number is written on their passport and is the only number used throughout the animals stay at the farm.

Details of cattle are entered on an Agridata computer program by scanning the passport barcode and manually entering the management tag number. The program will then respond to requests by management tag number which it automatically associates with the unique identification number.

He stores passports in purpose-made filing boxes in management tag number order. That makes it easy to find any passports required.

When selecting cattle for sale, Mr Scott prints out a list of all cattle in management tag numerical order. He can then check from listed details whether cattle are free to be sold. &#42

TRECORNER STRATEGY

&#8226 Maximise subsidy claims.

&#8226 Monitor feed costs closely.

&#8226 Control straw costs.


Focus area

Feeding technology will be one of the focus areas at the NBAs BEEF 2001 event at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Glos, on Sept 14.