SCOTTISH FARMERS and crofters will be the first in the UK to be given a “best estimate” of their potential single farm payment.

The Scottish Executive is in the process of writing to all eligible producers setting out how the payment has been calculated and the mechanism for addressing any concerns.

Rural development minister Ross Finnie said reform of the CAP would remove a significant bureaucratic burden from Scotland‘s farmers.

“We are determined to work with producers to ensure the smooth implementation of reforms which will result in a more market orientated farming industry in Scotland.

“As part of that process we are now writing to producers to set out our initial estimates of their individual single farm payment based on information we currently hold.”

Mr Finnie admitted that more did need to be done as the consultation on the National Reserve was still underway and this could have a bearing on any final payment.

The Scottish Executive has also been unable to issue estimates for 1700 producers who fall into non-standard categories, such as cross-border farmers.

“Nevertheless, this is a good start and it will help producers start the process of planning for 2005,” said Mr Finnie.

Have you had your letter from SEERAD? Is the estimate what you expected? E-mail  fwnews@rbi.co.uk