Prepare for land reform amnesty, tenants urged

Tenant farmers should start preparing now for the amnesty on improvements included in the new land reform act, it was claimed yesterday.

The European Court of Auditors criticised Scotland for using out-of-date aerial and satellite imagery. Picture: PA

EU auditors warn over out-of-date farm mapping data

The EU-wide systems for mapping and identifying farm fields eligible for subsidy might be helping to reduce the number of errors in support payments to farmers – but there is room for improvement, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) warned in a report published yesterday.

Pig numbers are on the rise, according to the census. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Cereals drop as potatoes, pigs and poultry increase

The results of Scotland’s June agricultural census, published yesterday, revealed a considerable reduction in the area of cereals grown in the country – but an increase in potatoes, sheep, pigs and poultry.

Septoria can reduce wheat yields by up to 50%. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Breakthrough in battle against worst wheat disease

Scientists have taken a major step towards helping plant breeders devise new strategies to improve plant resistance to septoria, the most destructive disease affecting wheat in the UK, it has been claimed.

NFU Mutual said its new policy is aimed at producers with less than 50 hectares. Picture: Contributed

NFU Mutual unveils new policy for smaller farm holdings

A new farm insurance policy, aimed at helping small farmers survive the current economic pressures, has been set up by rural insurer NFU Mutual.

Chinese lanterns are a fire risk to hay, straw and buildings, warned NFU Scotland. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Warning over risk to farm stock from Chinese lanterns

Bonfire time is approaching and with it the increased risk of farm fires caused by Chinese lanterns, according to a warning issued by NFU Scotland.

Landowners face much lower rents in future for siting mobile phone masts on their land. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Landowners told to get mobile mast deals organised

Scottish farmers and landowners with mobile phone masts on their land have been advised to get on the front foot and sort out their agreements with the telephone companies before changes to legislation are introduced next year.

Allan Bowie, president of NFU Scotland, said producers need reassurance over Brexit concerns. Picture: Contributed

NFUS keeps pressure on over post-Brexit priorities

The Prime Minister may have ruled out Brexit negotiations this year but NFU Scotland is pressing ahead with its lobbying on how it would like to see farming treated in the new non-EU world.

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NFU Scotland said farmers were still not receiving a sustainable price for their milk. Picture: John Devlin

Milk market supplies continue to tighten as prices rise

Evidence of further tightening of supplies in the milk market emerged yesterday with major processor First Milk announcing a 5p per litre increase in its B milk price for all membership pools and a minimum 1p per litre rise on A prices.

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James Taylor said growing its overseas sales was a 'big priority' for Mackie's at Taypack. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Crisps maker Mackie’s grows exports with Russia deal

Mackie’s at Taypack, the Perthshire crisps maker, has landed a deal to supply Russian supermarket chain Azbuka Vkusa.

NFU Scotland urged its members to take up Fergus Ewing's loan offer. Picture: Toby Williams

NFUS urges all to take up Government’s loan offer

Around about one farmer in three has still to apply to receive an interest-free advance loan against their basic payment support scheme.

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The new pier will allow more timber to be transported via boat instead of lorry. Picture: Contributed

Floating pier helps growing Argyll timber economy set sail

A new floating pier is to be built on the shores of Ardcastle Forest in Argyll which could unlock an estimated £10 million of the region’s growing timber supplies.

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Pictured on the QMS stand at SIAL are, from left, Jim Buchan of Highland Meats, Laurent Vernet of QMS, Simon Dowling of Scotbeef and Jim McLaren of QMS. Picture: Contributed

Currency upheaval leaves exporters in buoyant mood

Scottish meat exporters were in upbeat mood yesterday at SIAL – one of the world’s largest and most influential food fairs – with recent swings in currency helping their sales efforts.

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Demand for Aberdeen Angus bulls was led by commercial and pedigree buyers. Picture: Contributed

Aberdeen Angus bulls make strong start at Stirling

Aberdeen Angus bulls met a strong but selective trade on the opening day of the Stirling bull sales, where the top deal was a 11,000 guinea (gns) bid.

AHDB Cereals said UK wheat and barley growers could face tariffs on exports to the EU, unlike their counterparts in Ukraine. Picture: Craig Stephen

Warning over post-Brexit tariffs for cereal growers

The possibility of UK wheat and barley heading into Europe facing a tariff in a post-Brexit world has been raised this week by a leading market analyst.

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Sea eagle numbers have soared in recent years. Picture: PA

Hill sheep ‘under threat’ from soaring sea eagles

A prediction that the number of pairs of sea eagles is likely to double in the next decade has been met with both trepidation and despair by sheep farmers and crofters in the areas where the birds have already colonised.

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The NFU expressed particular concern over the future of oilseed rape in the UK. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

NFU calls for more crop research to boost output

Last week, statistics revealed a double-digit percentage drop in the quantity of grain grown in Scotland in 2016.

The sector needs to 'play its part' in the effective use of antibiotics, said the National Sheep Association. Picture: Martin Cleaver/AP

Efforts aim to help sheep farmers cut antibiotics use

Following in the footsteps of dairy farmers, who last week indicated they would reduce the levels of antibiotics used in their sector, UK sheep farmers are also doing their bit in the battle against antimicrobial resistance.

Andrea Leadsom is under pressure not to pursue a cheap food agenda based on free trade. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Andrea Leadsom warned over pitfalls of lower-quality pigmeat

Next week, Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom will visit SIAL, the big food fair on the outskirts of Paris, before she flies off to China to try to boost trade with the world’s second-biggest economy.

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English NFU president Meurig Raymond said Brexit 'is not about burning bridges, but building them'. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

English NFU members look for ‘ambitious vision’

English farmers have given a thumbs-up to life after leaving the European Union with a vision of farm businesses being central to a “dynamic food chain” in “a countryside that works for everyone”.

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