Farmers and crofters in Scotland will receive suckler beef support scheme payments in the coming weeks, it has been confirmed.
The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) supports producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows.
The scheme ensures that herds remain at a level that sustains Scotland's commercial beef industry.
In the coming weeks around 7,000 farmers and crofters will benefit from payments worth close to £40m, with some having already received payment.
The 2020 payment rates are £100.72 per animal for SSBSS Mainland and £145.13 per animal for SSBSS Island.
Jimmy Ireland, chair of NFU Scotland Livestock Committee said: “Suckler herds form the backbone of quality beef production in Scotland.
"We can confirm that the first of the 2020 Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme payments are being made this week.
“These payments will aid farmers cash flow, providing a welcome boost to the rural economy while also helping to support farmers who are producing quality meat that Scotland is globally renowned for.”
Claim numbers are up slightly on the previous year with 382,674 animals claimed in 2020 compared to 378,617 in 2019.
However, the figures still show a reduction in claims over the past five years.