The Scottish goverment has announced the start of the Scottish Beef Scheme payments to farmers this Friday (19 April).

Around 95% of producers will receive a pot of funding worth around £22 million, with the cash arriving in their bank accounts by Wednesday April 24.

Scottish Rural Affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead, said that the payments would help hard-pressed livestock farmers who have been hit by the extreme winter weather.

The Scheme will help around 7,400 producers and is designed as an incentive for farmers to keep livestock in the more challenging farming terrain in Scotland.

It targets smaller farms through weighting of payment rates so that the first ten eligible animals in a herd receive three times the payment rate for any subsequent calf. 

Mr Lochead emphasised how crucial this kind of support is to smaller farmers and said he hoped that the ongoing CAP reform talks would tackle this topic.

He said, “The Scottish Beef Scheme is an example of coupled support in action (and) benefits the majority of claimants farming in these difficult circumstances.”

“That’s why the failure to secure the level of coupled payments we wanted in the recent talks in Brussels was so disappointing, particularly as the two-tier system being proposed would leave Scotland unable to spend more than seven per cent, compared to the 12 per cent being offered to other nations. I sincerely hope this is an area which can be addressed in the ongoing CAP reform negotiations.”

For more on this topic

Coupling proves CAP reform sticking point