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18/04/18 00:01

Support for farmers

£250k fund following severe weather.

A package of support for farmers and crofters to help address the impact of recent extreme and adverse weather has been announced by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.

This includes a new £250,000 fund to help farmers offset the cost of retrieving fallen livestock.

The Scottish Government-appointed expert weather panel recognised that recent severe weather had caused a rise in the number of sheep and cattle deaths on farms across Scotland, and that financial support should be provided to those incurring additional costs of disposal of dead cattle and sheep.

The package also includes action to address feed and fodder shortages and to provide more practical and emotional support to farmers and their families whose wellbeing might be suffering as the long days and nights in harsh conditions take their toll.

Mr Ewing said:

“I’ve seen first-hand the massive impact that the prolonged wet and severe weather has been having on farmers, resulting in higher numbers of dead animals, and acute shortages in fodder across the country.

“We are already doing a lot to help farmers cope with the adverse conditions.

“This includes aiding cash flow through the LFASS and BPS loan schemes, providing specialist advice through our Farm Advisory Service, and actively seeking derogation from the European Commission from the Three Crop rule. However, there is more that can, and must be done.

“As a result, I am announcing a further package of support to help farmers and crofters cope. This includes £250,000 to help offset part of the additional costs farmers have faced in the uplift and disposal of dead sheep and cattle.

“We know that there are real pressures on feed and fodder currently and that winter and Spring crop sowing has been compromised, so there are likely to be further problems later this autumn. We need to identify longer term solutions to address these so I plan to convene a meeting of commercial feed companies and cooperatives to explore what more can be done to reduce shortages, increase resilience and create collaborative solutions..

“Finally, I recognise the harsh weather and long working hours can take an awful toll on people’s wellbeing. I am therefore providing RSABI with additional funding to help them provide more vital practical and emotional support to farmers and their families.”

Background

The fallen stock scheme will be operated through the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCO) in a similar way to the 2013 scheme.

Further information on RSABI