14 January 1999
Over-30-months-scheme under attack

CALLS for the over-thirty-months-scheme (OTMS) to be adjusted to benefit those with larger animals have been slammed by a Scottish farmer.

Robert Graham of Stirlingshire fears changes to the scheme risk setting dairy farmers against beef producers.

Mr Graham, who runs a Jersey dairy herd and Limousin beef enterprise, says scrapping the OTMS upper weight limit would be “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

Heavier cull cows from the beef enterprises cost more to slaughter and dispose of than lighter cows, despite receiving a subsidy every year until they are culled.

Dairy herds are not supported in this way, so farmers need a better payment when animals come to the end of their productive life, said Mr Graham.

The National Cattle Association and Country Landowners Federation in England last week called for a scrapping of the 560kg upper weight limit under OTMS.

The organisations are prepared to accept a 7p/kg reduction of the payment scale.

  • The Herald 14/01/99 page 25