29 August 1997

Quota worthless

WITH the second trading period about to close, 1996 sheep quota is now worthless.

Nigel Astbury of Townsend says, with supply far exceeding demand, quota is being given away, with the lessor paying the fees and costs. But with lowland quota having a capital value of, say, £12 a unit, farmers want to avoid losing it.

"So this second trading period – which closes on Fri, Sept 5 – is a last-ditch chance for farmers to satisfy the 70% quota usage rule and avoid having it confiscated," says Mr Astbury.

According to Mark Bray of ADAS, 80% of transactions are for free. But it is better than losing it – and with it the capital value and the right to premium payments. &#42