Two new schemes for beef and sheep farmers have been opened for applications this week.
The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (Mainland and Islands) and the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme opened on Tuesday.
The support for beef producers replaces the old Scottish Beef Scheme and will reward farmers for calves born on or after 2 December 2014. The support for farmers with sheep is new and will provide support to help maintain flocks in some of the most challenging agricultural land in Scotland. Payment under both schemes are due in 2016.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Succulent Scotch Beef and Lamb are prime products that are in demand all over the world. Scotch Beef was voted the nation’s favourite food and drink product last year. Following a challenging summer for farmers, these two new schemes will provide a welcome support for a vital part of the farming industry.
“This is the first time we have offered a specific support scheme to the islands to recognise the fact they have more adverse farming conditions due to poorer quality land and smaller markets which means they are more dependent on distant markets. Farming and crofting communities are vitally important and I hope the Upland Sheep Support scheme will help maintain employment, particularly during harsher times.
“I would urge farmers to make sure applications for these new schemes, which are worth around £38.8 million in total, are submitted in plenty of time ahead of the relative deadlines and make the most of the money available to them.”
Guidance on the schemes can be founds here: