Scottish farmers and crofters should expect their suckler beef support scheme payments to arrive in the next few weeks.

The funding helps producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows, ensuring herds remain at a sustainable level for the country’s commercial beef sector.

This year about 7,000 farmers will receive payments totalling close to £40m, at £100.72 for a mainland animal and £145.13 for an island animal.  

See also: Scottish capital grants scheme claim window extended

Animals have to be born on a Scottish holding, kept there for 30 days, and be at least 75% beef bred.

Claim numbers are up slightly on the previous year, from 378,617 to 382,674, but this still shows a reduction over the past five years, according to NFU Scotland.

Jimmy Ireland, chair of the union’s livestock committee, said: “Suckler herds form the backbone of quality beef production in Scotland.

“These payments will aid farmers’ cashflow, 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.”