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Ewe headage payment trimmed for 2018

The decree on the amounts of sheep aid and goat aid for the 2017 season was published on the 5th of October. The amounts were as follows:

Basic headage payment € 13.90/ewe;

- Extra payment for the first 500 ewes € 2 /ewe;
- Complementary sheep aid for ovine farms under contract or direct sale € 9 /ewe;
- New producers top-up € 6 /ewe.

On 14 December the ministry released a statement about major changes concerning sheep aid. The first conclusions of the audit commissioned by the European Commission on all coupled aid for 2015 and 2016 revealed serious dysfunctions between sheep aid applied in France and European rules on the granting of coupled aid. In fact all the additional payments constituting sheep aid in France since 2015 would be considered by Brussels as illegal.

If these initial conclusions are confirmed, it means that the European Commission will not reimburse France for the equivalent amount of aid already paid to farmers in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Ministry stated that this financial correction would be assumed 100% by the State and not by farmers, although the Commission has the power to require it.

The major consequence of this announcement is the change of the sheep aid 2018

Complementary sheep aid farms under contract or direct sale and the new producers top-up are hencefort removed! Therefore, the 2018 sheep aid will only be composed of a basic aid, it's reception conditioned, as is the case today, on the detention of a minimum number of ewes (50 ewes) and a productivity rate of 0.5 lambs sold per ewe.

The ministry's first estimates put forward a single basic aid for 2018 of around € 21. To this should be added the € 2 for the first 500 ewes. These amounts are purely indicative and simulated from the information available to the Ministry in 2017.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also informed the profession that the global budget dedicated to sheep aid 2018 will be considerably impacted by convergence and transfer of budget from the 1st to the 2nd pillar. The envelope will thus be 113.9 million € as against 119 million in 2017.


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