Farmers reminded to apply for suckler beef support scheme

The looming support scheme deadline follows a difficult year for Scotland’s iconic beef sector
The looming support scheme deadline follows a difficult year for Scotland’s iconic beef sector

Eligible farmers are reminded to apply to the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme before the deadline in just over two weeks time.

Applications for this year’s calf scheme, which provides support for Scotland's specialist beef producers, close on 31 December.

The scheme has an annual budget of €38 million (£32m) for beef calves born on the Scottish mainland and €6.6 million (£5.5m) for claims from the Scottish islands.

Support is available for calves provided they are at least 75 percent beef bred, born on a Scottish holding and kept there for 30 days.



This means that animals born on or after 2 December 2019 will not be eligible until next scheme year.

There is no limit to the number of claims eligible farmers and crofters can make by 31 December.



The scheme rate per animal will be determined by the total number of eligible animals claimed.

NFU Scotland’s livestock committee chair Jimmy Ireland, who farms at Darvel in Ayrshire, said the scheme is 'more important than ever'.

“Given what a difficult year it has been for Scotland’s iconic beef sector, with finished prices tumbling by almost £200 per head, the beef calf scheme will be more important than ever to a beef farmer’s bottom line.

“Every penny available under this scheme will be needed.

“This coupled support payment is a vital element in maintaining our iconic beef sector, which produces sustainable and local beef based on Scotland’s natural ability to grow grass.

“I would urge farmers and crofters to take advantage of this support.”

The payment rates for the 2018 claim year were €110.80 (£98.92) per animal for SSBSS Mainland and €161.60 (£144.27) per animal for SSBSS Island.