16 June 1995

Set-aside rate date end-year

SET-ASIDE rates for next season are unlikely to be known until the end of the year, visitors to this weeks Cereals 95 event at Shuttleworth, Beds were told.

But it looks likely that the minimum rotational set-aside rate will again be below 15%.

Many member states favour another cut, particularly France which wants 6-8%, said Francis Mordaunt of farm consultants Andersons. EU stocks are low and livestock farmers are facing higher grain costs.

The commission is cautious, however, and will not decide until it has harvest data. Flexible set-asides additional 3% is another short term measure. Unless a further derogation is agreed, it will revert to 5% over the non-rotational rate.

"The worst case would be 15% rotational set-aside and 20% flexible set-aside. Farmers should allocate enough land to fulfil this requirement, but with contingency plans if, rates are lower."

Charles Abel