Records key to extensification claims

By Farmers Weekly staff

AGENDA 2000 rules on extensification claims – which came into force on Saturday – will require good record keeping and monitoring throughout the year.

According to MLC beef analyst Duncan Sinclair, knowing the precise age of cattle in herds claiming extensification is vital, as any mistakes will now be penalised under IACS rules.

“It is crucial that you read the guidance notes and rules from MAFF. Read the small print and seek advice if you are unsure about whether you will qualify.

“Extensification premium will no longer be automatic. Now, you will have to tick a box on the IACS form, and this means you will also be eligible for penalties if you are found to have breached the limits,” he says.

“It will increase the burden of paperwork, but in agricultures current state, you must understand the system and exploit subsidies to the full.”

Mr Sinclair warns that knowing the exact age of cattle on the holding, and particularly when they become six months and two years old, is essential.

He says that stocking rates will be examined six times a year, with dates announced two weeks after they have passed.

“Consider this when buying and selling cattle; it may be that you buy in 80 suckled calves one day and sell 80 prime cattle the next, but if that date is the one selected by MAFF you could land in trouble by breaching limits.”

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