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Scottish Beef Calf Scheme payments begin
More than 7,900 Scottish producers will receive their share of £22 million of European funding next week.
Payments for the 2011 Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) will start to arrive in bank accounts from next Tuesday (April 24), with 95 per cent of recipients expected to receive their payment by the end of April, subject to necessary validation checks. Payment information is available to view on Rural Payments Online.
Claims were received from 7,902 producers for around 434,000 animals, an increase of 10,000 from last year.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
"These payments will provide timely support to the rural economy and deliver great benefit for our livestock sector. They form part of an important support framework which is always vital, and never more so than in the current economic climate.
“I am also pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government has been successful in ensuring this funding continues at current levels through the introduction of the Scottish Beef Scheme in January 2012, which replaces the SBCS. This will provide much needed ongoing support to Scotland’s livestock farmers until new CAP regulations come into force.”
This year's payment rate is set at £102.44 (EU118.20) for each of the first ten eligible animals, and £51.22 (EU59.10) for the remainder. The payments are entirely EU funded.
The Scottish Beef Calf Scheme is a direct support scheme aimed at specialist beef producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows. Suckler herds form the backbone of quality beef production in Scotland and provide environmental benefits in fragile areas.
The new Scottish Beef Scheme was introduced in January 2012 following discussions held as part of the CAP review. It replaces the SBCS and allows funding to be targeted towards smaller herds through reweighted payment levels where the first ten eligible animals will receive three times the rate of any subsequent eligible animal. There is no limit to the number of claims which can be made.