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Calf Scheme Figures Positive Signal for Beef Herd

20 April 2012

SCOTLAND, UK - National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland has welcomed confirmation that the number of beef calves securing payment under the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) has risen for the second year in a row and that monies paid out under the scheme will start to hit bank accounts next week.

According to Scottish Government figures, 7900 Scottish beef producers submitted claims for approximately 434,000 calves in 2011. By comparison, this is approximately 10,000 more calves than in 2010 and around 26,500 more than in 2009.

Payments for the 2011 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.

Before modulation, 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.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said: “The continued increase in beef calf numbers being claimed under this important scheme and a commitment to get almost all calf scheme payments into bank accounts by the end of the month are both good news stories for Scotland’s beef sector.

“Higher numbers of beef calves being claimed under the scheme may contradict the most recent census results on declining beef cow numbers. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that beef producers are being more ruthless when it comes to culling barren cows. If this indicates higher levels of reproductive efficiency in Scottish herds, then there is room for cautious optimism that we can sustain calf numbers and output as we move into an era of ongoing higher costs.

“This payment run will be the last under the existing SBCS rules but the good news is that its 2012 replacement, the new Scottish Beef Scheme is already in place, underpinning the Scottish beef industry.

“A standalone scheme supporting beef production has been an important part of the basket of support measures available to Scottish farmers and crofters and the ongoing availability of such schemes in the future will be an important part of NFU Scotland’s priorities as we discuss the future shape of Common Agricultural Policy support in the coming weeks and months.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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