Only 20pc of cattle on QPS premiums
ONLY 20pc of cattle killed in 2011 scored higher than the base price in the Quality Payment System (QPS) cattle grid.
The figures are based on Department of Agriculture analysis of the total kill at the 25 beef exporting plants in 2011.
They also highlight a gulf between meat factories on the number of steers that qualify for QPS premium payments.
The proportion of steers qualifying for a QPS premium ranged from less than 1pc to almost 38pc of the steer kill in individual factories last year.
The figures show that less than 19pc of all steers slaughtered last year qualified for a QPS premium payment, while almost 22pc of heifers received a QPS bonus.
The results show that only a minority of beef producers receive premium payments ranging from 5-30c/kg over the base for their cattle. More than four in every five steers slaughtered in 2011 fell within the base prices or lower on grading and the same applied to over 78pc of the heifer kill.
The figures also reveal a distinct regional pattern to QPS premium payments, with farmers in the south of the country receiving fewer premium payments than their counterparts in the west, northwest and eastern regions.
ABP Clones recorded the highest percentage of steers in the premium grades, at 37.8pc of the steer kill. It was followed by Dawn Ballyhaunis, where 34.2pc of steers were paid a premium, and Liffey Meats, where 33.7pc of steers qualified for a premium.