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Beef Production

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the prospects for EEC assistance to aid the beef industry after 1st January 1978, particularly in relation to the price of feeding stuffs and the extent to which these may be grown or manufactured in Northern Ireland.

Returns to beef producers are underpinned by the dual support system, authorised by the Community, of variable premiums and intervention buying of beef. The average target price over the current marketing year is nearly 14 per cent. higher than it was over 1976–77. Costs of production are taken into account by Ministers when support levels for each marketing year are being determined in the context of the common agricultural policy. As the greater part of the diet of Northern Ireland cattle comes from grass, hay and silage the costs of imported feeding stuffs do not constitute a serious problem for beef producers.