Hill farmers and crofters have been urged to submit their application for the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS) before the fast-approaching deadline.
SUSSS opened for applications on 1 September and closes on Friday (30 November), but NFU Scotland believes almost a quarter of expected applications are yet to be submitted.
Through the scheme, farmers can receive payments for ewe hoggs born on farm and maintained in the flock and the union said it delivers vital support that underpins the viability of many businesses.
The payment rate is not fixed and will depend on the total number of eligible animals claimed in the calendar year.
A flat rate is paid for each eligible animal. The rate for 2017 was €70.67 (around £62.52) a ewe hogg and payments in sterling will depend on the current exchange rate.
- Ewe hoggs born in sheep flocks maintained in land designated as Payment Region Three for the purposes of the Basic Payment Scheme
- The animals must be home-bred, meaning you cannot purchase or transfer animals from another business
- There is an upper payment limit of one ewe hogg to every 4ha of Basic Payment Region Three land
NFUS policy manager Jenny Brunton said: “Scheme deadlines can often slip the mind. There are indications that, with just a few days to go, almost a quarter of expected applications to the scheme are outstanding.
“Given the importance of this funding stream to hill farmers and crofters, we urge all those who are eligible to crack on with their applications.”
NFUS stressed that the deadline falls on a public holiday, so local area offices will be closed.
Paper applications hand delivered or posted in time to reach the area office mailbox on 30 November will still be accepted.
Applications completed online must be submitted by midnight on Friday 30 November 2018.