The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) has been paid out to over 7,000 beef farmers.

The popular £40m scheme pays a flat rate of £100.72 per calf on the mainland, and £145.13 per calf born on Scottish islands. The number of calves claimed is up from 378,617 in 2019 to 382,674 animals for 2020. The money for the scheme is ring fenced, so if the number of calves claimed rises then the value of each payment falls.

To be eligible for payment calves must be at least 75% beef bred genetics and live for at least a month.

UFU pushes for more potato support

Potato growers in NI need more financial support due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has said.

“We are working hard lobbying the DAERA Minister and his officials to get much needed COVID-19 support for growers who have been seriously affected,” said UFU deputy president William Irvine.

Last year, DAERA allocated £1.6m to the sector to cover losses associated with the 2019 potato crop. However, since then, markets have remained limited for last year’s crop.

“While it was positive to see schools reopening, many COVID-19 challenges remain with the ongoing closure of the hospitality sector, and it is continuing to put the livelihoods of farming families under extreme pressure,” said Irvine.