Producers warned not to lose out on premium
SOME beef farmers are losing valuable extensification payments by failing to stick to livestock unit limits.
Without careful planning, it is easy to slip into a lower paying band, warns Mark Timson of consultants Brown & Co.
Base payments for beef special premium and suckler cow premium are paid on a stocking density limit of 2LSU/ha of the forage area declared in the IACS base form.
Additional extensification premium worth £27.93 a head is paid for a stocking rate of less than 1.4LSU/ha, with an additional £12.41 a head super extensification at less than 1LSU/ha.
"Returns of £310/ha equivalent are available based on a green card BSP bull claim at the 1.4LSU/ha stocking rate," says Mr Timson.
However, if the cumulative total of claims for the year exceeds those extensification limits by just one animal, all extensification payments will be lost.
Although extra income from stocking at or near the 2LSU/ha limit will usually outweigh that loss, producers who only marginally exceed the limits will be better off making fewer claims and securing the payments, he points out.
To calculate the number of beef animals for which claims should be made, producers should first deduct other LSUs from the forage area.
Sheep count as 0.15LSU, and the farms milk quota should be divided by 5195.7 to calculate its LSU value.
Stick to the livestock unit limits or risk valuable payments, consultant Mark Timson advises.