Multiple agricultural scheme deadlines are approaching as the year comes to an end, Scottish farmers have been reminded.
Applications and claims for three important schemes are due to close on 31 December, and NFU Scotland (NFUS) has warned farmers not to miss the deadlines amid the festive period.
The first one to be aware of is the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme, which is worth about £40m to the country’s beef producers.
Submissions can be made online or by paper, but area offices remain closed and are only operating answer machine services. For more information, visit the Scottish government’s website.
Claims to the Sustainable Agricultural Capital Grants Scheme must also be completed by the end of 2021.
Only items that are on farms or crofts, operational and supported with invoices and proof of payment by the 31 December deadline will be eligible for payment. Grant offers for unclaimed items by this date will be withdrawn.
Full details on how to claim are available on the Scottish government’s website.
Finally, for those wishing to export sheep to Northern Ireland, the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme was amended in November to allow for a new status that will support breeding sheep sales between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Applications for Scrapie Qualifying Status must be completed by 31 December 2021.
This scheme is being facilitated by Scotland’s Rural College on behalf of Defra and more information can be found on the college’s website.
‘Start sooner rather than later’
NFUS vice-president Robin Traquair said: “Time is running out to get your applications in to several key schemes, but a few hours of form filling will be time well spent.
“Many offices will be closed for some time over the last few days of the year, and the deteriorating Covid situation means greater reliance on online and telephone support to sort out queries.
“I would urge you to start sooner rather than later to get your applications completed in case help is required.”
In addition, the new application round for Scotland’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme will open on Monday 24 January and close on Friday 29 April – or on Tuesday 31 May for collaborative applications.
Applications for slurry storage can be made by 29 April, but the deadline for standalone slurry store applications is Friday 24 June.
For applications to improve public access, the window will open on Monday 28 February and close on Friday 29 April.