17 November 1995

Newcomers fail to qualify for sheep quota allocation

By Liz Mason

NEWCOMERS and first-time claimants will not receive any sheep quota from the 1994 national reserve, MAFF has announced.

Only producers who applied to categories 1 and 2 (which include those in environmental schemes who cut back flock numbers and those who took over land from a tenant who took quota away) will receive an allocation.

But category 2 will be scaled back by 72% in the English LFA and by 44% in the GB lowland. "Developers", who were able to claim from the 1993 reserve, were excluded from the 1994 scheme altogether.

As announced

All eligible applicants to the 1994 suckler cow reserve are to receive quota as announced by MAFF last June. Any producers who have not been notified should hear shortly.

NFU officials said the suckler cow hand-outs were "reasonably satisfactory". But the sheep allocations were "disappointing".

"It is just a simple reflection of the fact that there is very little quota and that is disappointing particularly when we know there is surplus quota in other member states," said an NFU official.

MAFF also announced the opening of the second transfer and lease notification period for 1994 for those eligible to trade.

Producers who can buy or lease-in to cover 1994 claims include:

&#8226 Unsuccessful or ineligible applicants to the 1993 or 1994 reserves.

&#8226 Those who received a late initial quota allocation after Aug 31, 1993, for sheep and Apr 14, 1994, for suckler cows.

Producers who can sell or lease out include:

&#8226 Those with more quota than the number of animals on which they applied for 1994 premium.

&#8226 Those who did not receive supplementary quota because they were in an extensification scheme in 1991 (sheep) or 1992 (suckler cows).

&#8226 Those leasing some or all of the surplus quota to a member of the same partnership or producer group with not enough quota to cover his or her share of the 1994 premium claim.

Quota brokers say trading so far has been slow. Exeter agents Townsends said most sheep producers they had spoken to were reluctant to trade. "They are fed up with it and cannot be bothered any more," said a spokesman.

He claimed producers were wary of retrospective trading, particularly after several ran into difficulties with MAFF rules when the 1993 period was reopened.