By FW staff

SHEEP annual premium payments for 1998 have been set at £17.45 a head.

Advance payments of £5.45 and £4.98 have already been made, leaving a balance of £7.02 a head.

Producers can expect to receive £5.56 of that in April. The remainder is classed as agrimoney compensation and it is not yet clear when this will be paid.

The overall 1998 figure is £5.84 more than last year, reflecting the dramatic fall in lamb prices.

Claims for 1999 SAP and hill livestock compensatory allowances must be submitted by 4 February. Late claims will be accepted up to 1 March, although payments will be cut by 1% a working day.