§ Mr. Livsey
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the stocking rate to be used for standard quota, with reference to landlords and tenants in the milk producers outgoers scheme.43W
§ Mr. Gummer
[pursuant to his reply, 19 May 1986, c. 71]: It was our intention to use a stocking rate of 1.31 cows per hectare. This stocking rate would have accurately reflected the number of cows per hectare of land, bearing in mind the average area occupied by followers in a herd. However, in the light of views put to us by the National Farmers Union, we have now decided that it would be more appropriate to exclude land used by followers. On the basis of land used by milking cows alone the appropriate stocking rate is 1.8 cows per hectare.
The choice of the basis for application of the stocking rate does not in itself affect the total amount of standard quota in the country as a whole. There are, however, practical advantages in the use of the basis excluding followers, in that it links the area more precisely with the cows that produce the milk. On many farms the followers may well be kept away from the main herd, possibly alongside beef animals, making it difficult to establish the precise area to be taken into account.