Scottish beef farmers are being reminded to check their bank accounts to ensure correct delivery of beef headage payments.
The Scottish government announced on 3 April that payments for the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme would start going into bank accounts imminently, with a final payment date of 30 June.
This year the scheme will pay £40m to about 7,000 beef producers, with farmers on the mainland receiving £98.92 and island farmers £144.27 for each eligible animal.
Animals have to be born on a Scottish holding, kept there for 30 days and be at least 75% beef bred.
Scottish farmers are the only beef producers in the UK to receive a headage payment, with the scheme intended to maintain beef herds at a level that sustains the commercial beef industry in Scotland.
According to the 2018 June census, there were 1.76 million cattle in Scotland, a 60-year low, with numbers in the beef sector having fallen by 1% on the previous year, and by 2% in the dairy sector.
Numbers peaked in 1974 at 2.68 million and have been in steady decline ever since, with recent falls blamed on the long winter of 2017-18, which exhausted feed supplies and may have led to cattle being slaughtered earlier than normal.
A recent report from WWF Scotland put the cost of extreme weather in 2018 to the overall Scottish farming sector at £166m.