Support for Scottish farmers affected by poor weather

Scottish farmers struggling to deal with poor weather conditions and increasing costs could benefit from a range of support measures announced by the Government.

The wet summer and recent flooding continues to affect famers in Scotland, with many suffering from:

  • reduced income from lower yields
  • high costs of upgrading machinery to cope with wet heavy soils
  • the postponing of seasonal crops
  • loss of planting area due to waterlogged fields

Making the announcement alongside Nigel Miller, the president of NFU Scotland, the rural affairs secretary Richard Lochead said the Government would do all it could to support those affected, including negotiating with banks to show leniency with late payments.

Other measures include:

  • paying Scottish Single Farm Payments as quickly as possible
  • extending 2012 invoice dates for Rural Priorities capital works by two months
  • greater flexibility on slurry spreading rules and penalties

Richard Lochead said: "With a well-deserved reputation for resilience, Scotland's farmers are continuing to make the most of the opportunities ahead."

"However, there is no escaping the fact that this has been a difficult year which is why we are doing all we can to support farmers."

Working alongside the Government, NFU Scotland suggested further measures to help farmers, including:

  • funding to improve drainage
  • collective approaches to storing, drying and handling crops
  • encouraging retailers to share the risk and cost of poor crop performance

Current consultations on the EU's Common Agricultural Policy reform are also a source of uncertainty for farmers.

Hosting the meeting between the NFU and the rural affairs secretary, farmer William Thomson described 2012 as the worst year for yield and quality of crops in his 20 years' of farming experience.

"This means that budgeted income and cash flow projections have fallen well short of target and some serious costs have been incurred. Not only that, but the legacy of this year's weather will be reduced winter cropping, affecting yield and income in 2013. This will have a knock on effect for the livestock industry which represents our largest customer base", he said.

We can help with cash flow management and projections. Please contact us to find out more.