Covid-19 Farming Support Package

 

As a result of market disturbance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some agricultural and horticultural businesses have incurred financial losses. The Minister for Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs has announced funding will be available for the dairy, beef, sheep, potato and ornamental horticulture sectors. 

What Support Is Available?

      1. DAIRY SECTOR

The market disturbance started in March when “lockdown” caused the hospitality and food service sector to close and milk prices fell. Support will be a payment of 1.28p per litre for milk based on the volume of milk supplied to a processor in the period March to June 2020.

Volumes of milk sold on fixed price contracts above the February 2020 reference price of 26.68p/l will not be included in the support package.

     2. BEEF SECTOR

Due to the collapse of the food service market and weakness in international markets,  beef prices to stagnated from mid-February before falling sharply in April, eventually recovering to pre COVID-19 prices by the end of June.

The amount of funding available is detailed below and depends on the age of the animal and the date that it was slaughtered or exported for slaughter. One animal may qualify for more than one payment, for example, an animal may qualify for both a £33 payment and a £40 payment. The total payment for that animal would then be £73.

Beef Payment – £33 per head ( 8 months old or over) 

Condition: Was the animal slaughtered or exported for slaughter between 16/02/2020 – 30/06/2020? 

Answer: Yes -the farm business that was the last registered keeper on 15/02/2020 receives the payment. 

Answer:No – No payment is due. 

BEEF PAYMENT – £40 PER HEAD (aged 12 months and over)

Condition: Was the animal slaughtered or exported for slaughter between 29/03/2020 – 16/05/2020 

Answer: Yes – the farm business that was the last registered keeper on 28/03/2020 receives the payment. 

Answer: No – No payment is due

OR BEEF PAYMENT – £40 PER HEAD (aged 12 months and over)

Condition: Was the animal slaughtered or exported for slaughter between 17/05/2020 – 30/06/2020 

Answer: Yes -the farm business that was the last registered keeper on 28/03/2020 receives the payment, provided they were not the registered keeper on 16/05/2020. 

Answer: No – No payment is due

BEEF PAYMENT – £13.50 PER HEAD (aged from 8 months to less than 12 months)

Condition: Was the animal slaughtered or exported for slaughter between 05/04/2020 – 23/05/2020 

Answer: Yes -the farm business that was the last registered keeper on 04/04/2020 receives the payment.

Answer: No – No payment is due

Note: All cattle slaughtered as TB reactors and ‘in contact’ animals will be excluded from the scheme. All cattle slaughtered and certified on APHIS as unfit for human consumption will also be excluded from the scheme. 

     3. SHEEP SECTOR

A payment of £6.88 shall be made if an eligible animal was slaughtered or exported for direct slaughter during the period 22 March 2020 to 18 April 2020.

Condition: Was the animal slaughtered or exported for slaughter between 22/03/2020 – 18/04/2020 

Answer: Yes -the farm business that was the last registered keeper on 21/03/2020 will receive the payment.

Answer: No – No payment is due

     4. POTATO SECTOR

Support will be a payment per ton to a maximum of £136/t based on the loss in value of eligible potatoes during the period 17 March – 31 July 2020. Losses will be calculated as the difference between the reference price (£200/t) and sale price if sold at a loss, or residual value (stock feed value of £30/t) if still in store from 22 July 2020. 80% of this loss will be compensated for.

Growers will be expected to provide evidence that they normally supplied the potato processing market, and provide evidence of financial loss based on invoiced sales of eligible potatoes (tons and value) with associated proof of payment (e.g. bank statement) for eligible potatoes sold at a loss in the period 17 March – 31 July 2020.

 4. ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE

Support will be proportionate across a range of losses incurred, and will not be provided as a flat rate amount. The level of support must be evidence based and it will be necessary for growers to provide sales information to the Department.

How to Apply? 

There are three ways you can apply for this payment:

  1. Do it Yourself, online at DAERA Online Services; a step by step guide can be found here.
  2. Call DAERA on 0300 200 7848 for a Digital Assistance appointment. 
  3. Use an Agent to complete the online application on your behalf.

DAERA will write to every farm business they have deemed eligible for payment to advise that applications are now open. 

How to Apply – Potato Farm Businesses  
The application form for eligible potato farm businesses can be found on the DAERA website from Wed 9 Sept. As part of this process farm businesses will be required to provide additional evidence to support their claim

Applications opening dates are :

  • 7th September 2020 for the diary, beef and sheep sectors. Payments are expected to start to issue within two weeks of the closing date (23 September 2020).
  • 9th September 2020 for potato applications and payments are expected to start to issue within two weeks of the closing date (30 September 2020)
  • The Ornamental Horticulture Industry (Coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Scheme (Northern Ireland) 2020 will be launched at a later date.

 

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