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Zero rate proposal for set-aside next season

by 5m Editor
17 July 2007, at 10:57am

UK - The European Commission is to bring forward a proposal to set the compulsory set-aside rate for autumn 2007 and spring 2008 at zero per cent.

Under the proposal, farmers will still have the option to set aside land voluntarily if they are seeing a benefit of set-aside on their own farm and want to retain it. This latest proposal does not abolish set-aside - that debate will be concluded at next year's "health check" review of the Common Agricultural Policy. However, by setting the rate for next year at zero per cent, it will address the extremely tight supply situation in the cereals market and will allow decision makers to assess the impact of removing the compulsory requirement prior to next year's negotiations.

Farmers' Single Farm Payment income will remain unchanged, but there is likely to be some alteration in application paperwork if the proposed change is ratified.

While the cereal sector has been benefiting from a much-needed and justified rise in prices, livestock producers are struggling with associated rises in feed costs that are not being reflected in their market prices.

According to NFU Scotland, the cost of pig production has risen by around 11p per kilo compared to this time last year. However, the prices paid to farmers have risen by only 3p and there are even signs of pressure on that from retailers. The spot price for pigs has reduced by 4p per kilo in the last fortnight.

As a result, NFUS is writing to all the major supermarkets to make them aware of the pressure being felt at the farm gate.

Source: The Herald

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5m Editor