Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead has announced details of the Weather Aid scheme which has been agreed by an industry group chaired by Chief Agricultural Officer, Drew Sloan.
The Scottish Government has registered a block exemption scheme with the EU to help farmers who have lost at least 30 per cent of the average of their annual production compared with a three year average. Farmers who have lost less than this will be considered for a de minimis state aid payment. The maximum threshold for these payments is €7,500 (about £6,350 based on the average exchange rate for May) per business over a three year rolling period. The Weather Aid Group have also allocated an extra £250,000 to the Fallen Stock Fund to be used to rebate some of the costs to livestock producers during March, April and May 2013.
An editable application form and detailed scheme guidance will be available from Monday 3 June 2013. All applications should be sent to the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division, Q1 Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD. The closing date for applications is Friday 5 July 2013.
Once all applications have been assessed they will meet to finalise payment levels. The aim is to compensate those who have been hardest hit by these events and as a result suffered the greatest financial loss relative to their business’ income.
Applications will be accepted from farmers who have:
- lost 10% or more breeding ewes/lambs put to the ram/goats
- reared 20% less lambs/kids in 2013
- lost 5% or more other breeding livestock
- reared 10% less calves/other livestock
re-sown 20% or more of an arable crop
CEO, Douglas McAdam said: “I’m pleased to be able to represent Scottish Land & Estates on the Weather Aid Group and to do what we can to help those who have been hardest hit by the recent bad weather. This funding is very welcome and I look forward to the next meeting of the group where we will finalise payment levels”.