Despite a number of lobby groups pushing for future support to be activity based, the Pack team admitted there were "few tools available" to achieve that aim. It did come up with couple of possibilities. The first relates to supporting cows in Less Favoured Areas by up to 150 per cow with a limit of 40 cows per producer. This would cost some 30 million, or 5 per cent, sliced off current single farm payments.
The second would see an extension of the current beef calf scheme with particular emphasis on beef breeds. But the suggestion of changing current practices in this area of support produced a nervous reaction from the NFUS, whose president, Jim Walker, reflected on the "fiery debate" last year when there was a suggestion that the sheep sector should receive additional funding.
It also queried whether it would be achievable in the short period before 2012, saying that made it hardly worthwhile with the major change timetabled to come only months after that.