By FWi staff

NEW livestock producers will benefit from a relaxation of the quota rules for sheep and suckler cows, farming minister Lord Donoughue said yesterday.

From next spring, producers will be able to lease in quota to cover their first years application for premium without prejudicing their eligibility for an allocation from the national reserve in the following year.

“I am very well aware of the difficulties young people face entering the farming industry, and I hope that these new measures will reduce at least one of the problems they face,” Lord Donoughue said.

Applicants who are unsuccessful in the first year will be able to re-apply for quota in the second year.

The new rules come into effect March 1998 for the 1998 suckler-cow quota national reserve, and for the 1999 sheep quota national reserve, opening in May 1998.

The actual arrangements are somewhat complicated. Allocations of quota under the arrangements outlined above will be based on a producers claims for premium in year one and will be effective from year two.

But if producers lease in quota to cover their premium claims in year one, no quota will be deducted from the allocation. Deductions will be made where producers have bought in quota during year one.