NFU Scotland is reminding hill farmers and crofters that the deadline for applying to the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS) is approaching.

For online applications, the deadline is midnight on Saturday, November 30.

Paper applications received in the post at the department’s area offices on Monday, December 2 will be accepted provided the envelope is postmarked November 29 (or earlier).

Applications for this year’s SUSSS opened on Saturday, September 1.

A spokesman for National Farmers Union Scotland explained the payments for ewe hoggs through the scheme deliver vital support that underpins the viability of many hill farming and crofting businesses.

Livestock policy manager John Armour said: “At busy times of the year, scheme deadlines can often slip the mind.

There are indications that, with just over a week to go, more than 60% of expected applications have been received. That leaves around 500 who have yet to submit their application.

“Given the importance of this funding stream to hill farmers and crofters, we urge all those who are eligible to crack on with their applications.”