Farmers to get share of £7m
Around 1,118 upland sheep farmers will benefit from payments worth around £7 million in the coming weeks.
The Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme supports sheep production on the poorest quality land.
Producers must have homebred ewe hoggs, no more than 200 hectares of Payment Region 1 land and 80 per cent of their holding must consist of land in Payment Region 3.
Rural Economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Maintaining flocks of sheep on some of our poorest land brings important social and environmental benefits to those areas, which is why I can confirm that the first tranche of 2018 Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme payments is due to begin shortly.
“With payments set at £68 per animal, farmers and crofters will see a welcome increase of just over £5 from the 2017 rate.
“As the only part of the UK to provide coupled support for sheep and beef farmers, these timely payments will provide a boost to the rural economy while helping to support our farmers who are producing the quality meat products that Scotland is globally renowned for.
“With further payments being made in the coming weeks, I am confident that the majority of awards will be made by the end of the payment window, demonstrating my absolute commitment to supporting our farmers, crofters and the wider rural economy.”