Bids invited for £6M farmer financial aid

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Farmers are being urged to take up the offer of financial help from the £6million weather aid announced earlier this month.

The Scottish Government issued eligibility guidelines last Wednesday and the weather aid scheme opens for applications on Monday.

NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller, one of the industry stakeholders involved in designing the scheme, said: “The criteria are designed to help those who have lost critical numbers of stock or will rear significantly fewer animals this season. It will also assist those who have had to strip out and replant large areas of failed crops.

“Should the scheme be over-subscribed, then we believe it is appropriate that there is targeting towards those businesses most extremely affected by the snowstorms of late March, as well as those farms not currently supported through schemes such as Single Farm Payment and Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS).”

Farmers who have lost 10 or more per cent of breeding ewes or lambs put to the ram/goat, who will have over 20 per cent fewer lambs/kids reared this year, who have had to re-sow 20 per cent of an arable crop, or who have lost five or more per cent of other breeding livestock or who will have more than 10 per cent fewer calves or other livestock reared this year should apply to the scheme.

The weather aid group will meet at the end of July to review the applications and finalise the level of help available for individual farmers, and payments will start from August 1.