7 April 2000

OTMSscheme hangers-on

DAIRY and beef producers are holding on to older cattle to see if the governments rural summit pledge to remove the over 30-month scheme weight limit results in higher payments.

Since the announcement at the summit when MAFF said it would begin negotiations with Brussels to remove the limit, markets and abattoirs have begun reporting a drop in supplies coming forward.

The Intervention Board is certainly keen to avoid a repeat of the backlogs experienced in previous years.

A letter to collection centres, abattoirs and farming unions from the OTMS scheme manager has stressed that if animals are retained it will add to the pressure on the system when changes are implemented.