Weather compensation cash ‘on the way’ for victims

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FARMERS who lost livestock in the severe weather this spring will now only have a few weeks to wait for compensation cash following a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Weather Aid Group earlier this week.

The £6 million scheme attracted claims from 1,063 farmers but some 209 applications did not meet the eligibility criteria agreed by the group.

For those that did meet the criteria for lost stock, the support will be based at £120 per ewe, £50 per lamb, £1,200 per cow, £500 per calf andg for those who lost crop – mostly through wind blow – £200 per hectare.

Speaking after the release of the figures, chief agricultural officer Drew Sloan said it was important that the compensation payments complied with EU state aid rules. That was why Scottish Government officials had been verifying the evidence provided by farmers.

He added: “We still have some final checks to carry out and during early September will be contacting those farmers who were not able to provide data that can be verified. This will allow the completion of all payments.”

NFU Scotland president, Nigel Miller said the funding would provide a cushion from the extreme losses and costs suffered over the winter and spring.

“As well as supporting the majority of successful claimants with payments worth up to ceiling of £6,000 per business, the scheme will also be able to recognise and deliver higher levels of support to those businesses which suffered more than 30 per cent losses on livestock,” he said.

He added it would also provide a route to allow new entrants to draw down assistance without that help being limited by de minimus rules.