Don’t squander LFA payments, Scottish hill farmers told

Scottish hill farmers must sign Less Favoured Area forms or risk losing out on 2010 support payments, NFU Scotland has warned.

Livestock farmers in the country’s designated LFAs need to provide details on the number of animals on their farms in order to receive payments under the 2010 LFA Support Scheme (LFASS).

The data will be used by the Scottish government work on the details of future payments so they reflect stock levels.

Farmers have until 2 October to complete the forms, or risk their 2010 payment claims not being processed.

While the form will not guarantee eligibility to receive payments, 2010 payment applications will not be processed unless it is filled in

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland vice-president, said the union was determined payments reflected the agricultural management of Scottish hill farmers,

“The LFASS payment calculation remains complex, but it must be a reflection of current stocking densities, livestock ratios and agricultural capability,” he said.

“Having established these principles with the Scottish government, we want to ensure that all those in the LFA that merit support are rewarded for their continued commitment to livestock farming.

“To achieve this, it is critical that all producers in Scotland’s LFA supply this essential information on livestock numbers on the forms recently provided by the Scottish Government.

“Without it being completed, your claim for these lifeline payments next year will not be processed.”

Mr Millar said farmers with enquiries about the animal declaration form should contact their local SGRPID office as soon as possible.