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North-east farmers and crofters reminded of December deadlines looming

By David Porter

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NFU Scotland's Robin Traquair
NFU Scotland's Robin Traquair

NFU Scotland is reminding all its members of important deadlines that fall during this festive period.

The union's vice president Robin Traquair said: “Time is running out to get your applications in to several key schemes, but a few hours of form filling will be time well spent.

“Many offices will be closed for some time over the last few days of the year, and the deteriorating Covid situation means greater reliance on online and telephone support to sort out queries.

"I would urge you to start sooner rather than later to get your applications completed in case help is required.”

Beef calf scheme, Sustainable Agricultural Capital Grants Scheme and Scrapie Monitoring Scheme applications all due on December 31 with AECS opening early in the New Year

In the next few days, applications to several important schemes will close while the new round for Scotland’s agri-environment scheme will open early in the New Year.

Applications to the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) 2021 close at midnight on December 31.

The beef calf scheme is worth around £40 million to the nation’s beef producers.

Submissions can be made online or by paper.

Area offices remain closed and are only operating answer machine services.

Scheme information is available here: https://www.ruralpayments.org/topics/all-schemes/scottish-suckler-beef-support-scheme/

The final deadline for submitting claims to the Sustainable Agricultural Capital Grants Scheme (SACGS) also falls on December 31.

Only items that are on farms or crofts, operational and supported with invoices and proof of payment by the December 31 deadline will be eligible for payment.

The Scottish Government has indicated that grant offers for unclaimed items by this date will be withdrawn.

Details on how to claim are at: https://www.ruralpayments.org/news-events/last-chance-for-farmers-to-claim-sacgs-support.html

For those wishing to export sheep to Northern Ireland, the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme (SMS) was amended in November to allow for a new status that will support breeding sheep sales between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Applications for Scrapie Qualifying Status (SQS) must be completed by December 31, 2021.

The scrapie monitoring scheme is being facilitated by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Flock owners can get more information at: https://www.sruc.ac.uk/business-services/what-is-your-goal/veterinary-laboratory-services/sheep-and-goat-health-schemes/scrapie-monitoring-for-export/#Qualifying-Status

The Union also urges members to note that the 2022 Agri-Environment Climate Scheme application round will open on Monday, January 24 and close on Friday, April 29, 2022, with the closing date extended to Tuesday, May 31, 2022 for collaborative applications.

Applications for Slurry Storage can be made during the main AECS window (Monday, January 24 to Friday, April 20); however, the deadline for stand-alone slurry store applications is Friday, June 24.

For applications for Improving Public Access (IPA), there is a separate opening period, Monday, February 28 to Friday April 29 inclusive.

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