20 October 1998
NBA seeks OTMS model for heavy cattle

THE National Beef Association (NBA) is hoping to find a model to reduce the price penalties imposed on farmers with heavy cows and stock bulls by the 560kg (live) weight limit for the Over Thirty Months Scheme.

The Ministry of Agriculture has told the association it would be willing to scrap the weight-based restrictions if another formula which is budget-neutral can be agreed.

This can only be done by p/kg payments. The association has written to the National Farmers Union and the Country Landowners Association, asking them to assist in fixing the exact price at which this balance can be achieved.

The NBA accepts that its solution is not perfect but said it had the advantage of being both simple and fair.

NBA chairman Robert Robinson said that an average-sized cow may be worth just £20 less if a budget neutral payment system was accepted. But farmers surrendering heavier types of animals could get up to £100-a-head more.

  • The Herald 20/10/98 page 26