Strong £ brings fall in SAP payments
SHEEP annual premium payments have slumped this season after the strong £ wiped off almost £2.50 a head from 1998 payouts.
Farmers will receive just £13.58 a ewe, MAFF has revealed. This is much lower than earlier estimates of £15-£16 a head, mainly due to the £s strong performance in December against the k.
The ewe premium is now so low it will fail to compensate sheep farmers for the fall in prices in recent years, says the NFU. It estimates producers lost £33.5m because of weak sheepmeat markets between 1998 and 1999, while double that will be wiped off the premium.
That, says the NFU, adds weight to its call for the government to claim agrimonetary compensation. *