Upland Sheep Scheme payments to commence today

NFU Scotland welcomes the news that Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS) 2020 payments are expected to reach the bank accounts of farmers and crofters from today (Tuesday, May 4).

The prompt delivery of SUSSS, in line with the 2020 payments timetable, will be welcomed by hill farmers and crofters.

The individual payment rate for 2020 is €67.12 (£59.80) per eligible ewe hogg. The 2020 conversion rate is €1 = £0.89092.

Under the 2019 scheme, the payment rate was €70.00 (£62.36) per animal (2019 conversion rate €1 = £0.89092). The reduction in payment rate for 2020 of €2.88 (£2.56) per animal is due to the increase in ewe hoggs claimed.

NFU Scotland’s LFA committee chairman Robert Macdonald commented: “We welcome prompt payment under the Upland Sheep Scheme.

“SUSSS remains a vital support stream for hill farmers and crofters and is one that the union’s LFA committee believes could still benefit from further rule revision.

Better targeting can and should be introduced by limiting the number of ewe hoggs claimed by each eligible applicant to 20% of their breeding flock.

“This would be in addition to the existing requirement that claimants require four hectares of Region 3 land per ewe hogg claimed.

“As a consequence, this would secure an increase in support going to those actively farming and crofting the most challenging land where lambing percentages are always restricted by a host of physical factors,” he concluded.