2 February 1996

OSRpenalties Yes

BRUSSELS has confirmed 1995 area aid cuts of 4% for oilseed growers, to be deducted from balancing payments due to go out in March (Business, Jan 26).

Under the terms of the Blair House agreement, penalties apply if EU prices exceed the so-called world reference price (currently worth about £169/t) by above 8%.

And commission statisticians, say the EU price has been 12% above this level so far this season.

Full details of the effect of this on balancing payments are given below. But English growers can expect another £218.86/ha (£88.57/acre) when cheques go out, probably in March.

Brussels has also confirmed that there will be no additional penalty for exceeding the EU oilseeds base area. Last season the UK suffered an 11.81% penalty for excessive plantings.

But growers in the Scottish LFA already face an additional 1.85% penalty for having over-run their separate arable base area. This cuts their full area payment to £502.34/ha (£203.29/acre), with the balance of £235.86/ha (£95.45/acre) to go next month.

Oilseeds grown under the simplified schemes and industrial crops on set-aside are unaffected.

Oilseed rape area payments, 1995 (after applying 4% price penalty)

£/ha (£/acre)Final rateAdvance paidBalance due

England456.76 (184.85)237.90 (96.28)218.86 (88.57)

Scotland non-LFA*502.34 (203.29)266.48 (107.84)235.86 (95.45)

Scotland LFA421.17 (170.45)219.36 (88.77)201.81 (81.68)

Wales465.66 (188.45)242.53 (98.15)223.13 (90.30)

N Ireland433.04 (175.25)225.54 (91.27)207.50 (83.98)

*Adjusted for 3.7% base area overshoot penalty