The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) supports producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows.
The scheme, which has an annual budget of €38m (£32.4m) for Scottish mainland claims and €6.6m (£5.6m) for claims from the Scottish islands, pays out for calves that are owned or leased and are at least 75% beef bred. Payments in sterling will depend on the exchange rate in force at the time.
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said that suckler herds formed the backbone of quality beef production in Scotland and confirmed that the first tranche of the 2018 Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme payments were due to begin shortly.
“These payments will aid farmers’ cash flow, providing a welcome boost to the rural economy while also helping to support farmers who are producing the quality meat products that Scotland is globally renowned for,” he said.
“With further payments being made in the coming weeks, I am confident that the majority of awards will be made by the end of the payment window. However, with Brexit continuing to present the biggest threat to the industry, the Scottish Government continues to work with others to further extend Article 50 to avoid a catastrophic ‘no deal’ outcome and allow time for a second referendum on EU membership.”
The 2018 payment rates are €110.80 (£98.92) per animal for SSBSS Mainland and €161.60 (£144.27) per animal for SSBSS Island. In 2017, the payment rates were €111.20 (£99.49) and €161.20 (£144.22) per animal for SSBSS Mainland and Island respectively.