Calf breeders were this week reminded to apply for the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme – either online or in paper format – ahead of the 31 December deadline.
And while there have been no changes to the scheme for 2016 – meaning farmers should claim as before – NFU Scotland advised that some amendments were likely to take place for the 2017 application.
From next year, dual-purpose breeds will also become eligible for claims – and the union said that any eligible animal born after 2 December 2014 which fulfilled the requirements of the scheme could be claimed in 2017, even if they had been sold or died.
The union also said it looked likely the government would exclude calves whose mothers had been milked from the scheme from next year.
Cattle owners were also reminded that the way in which animal movements between units must be recorded would change on 1 January.
The union said that the “controversial and unpopular” changes would see an end to the Cattle Tracing Systems (CTS) linked holding rules.
Under the old arrangements, keepers could register holdings which they regularly used so cattle movements between these linked holdings did not need to be electronically reported – although they did need to be noted in the farm’s herd register.
“The new rules will see ‘within business’ cattle movements reported through ScotMoves to an online holding register. All movements involving a change of ownership must continue to be reported to CTS,” said the union.