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APPLICATIONS GROW AS AID SCHEME DEADLINES APPROACH

Applications to Scottish Government aid schemes are building as the July 5 deadline approaches.

NFU Scotland has been informed that the Scottish Government has received more than 270 applications to its £6 million Weather Aid scheme and 785 notes of interest – and 340 applications to date – have been received for the £2 million New Entrants fund.

The Union is urging members considering these schemes not to leave their applications to the last minute.

With regards to the Weather Aid scheme, NFUS has received clarification on how support for fallen stock collection will be delivered to those who are members of the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) and those who have had fallen stock lifted by collectors who are not part of the NFSCo network.

NFU Scotland’s President Nigel Miller said:

“Uptake of the weather aid scheme is encouraging but I would urge all who suffered in the winter of 2012 and the spring of 2013, and may be considering an application, not to leave it to the last minute and apply ahead of July 5.

“This aid package recognises how difficult a period this has been and is designed to help those who have lost critical numbers of stock or will rear significantly fewer animals this season because of the weather.  It will also assist those who had to strip out and replant large areas of failed crops.

“We have written to all NFUS members, making them aware of the scheme.  The eligibility criteria have been set but we would urge farmers to view these as a guide and if they feel they have a genuine claim on weather-related losses, then they should go ahead and submit their application and allow the panel to assess it. 

“New entrant interest in the £2 million fund announced by Scottish Government at our AGM in February is also building and the reminder to those eligible is that applications are also due to be submitted by July 5.”

Detail on how the fallen stock support element of the Weather Aid package – worth £750,000 - will be delivered were confirmed this week. Farmers will be eligible to receive a rebate on their costs if they have used a fallen stock collection service during March, April and May.

NFU Scotland’s Livestock Policy Manager, John Sleigh said:
“As a result of the severe weather in the spring of this year, many farmers will have lost stock and there was welcome recognition within the Weather Aid package of the problems encountered on livestock farms.  That money will go towards covering much of the costs faced by farmers in having fallen animals lifted from their farms.

“For farmers who are already members of the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo), they need take no action as refunds to bank accounts will be processed by the NFSCo.  For farmers who had animals collected by companies who are not part of the NFSCo network, they should complete and sign an application form with their details and their collection receipts. The closing date for applications is 31 July.”  Ends

Notes to editors
 The Scottish Government has published the application forms and guidance for the 2013 Weather Aid Scheme on its website. The scheme is designed to compensate farmers who experienced greater than normal losses as a result of the severe snowstorms in March 2013; extreme weather in 2012/13; and the sandstorms in May 2013. Businesses must have experienced one or more of the following:
- lost 10% or more breeding ewes / lambs put to the ram / goats
- reared 20% less lambs / kids in 2013 from the equivalent number of breeding stock
- lost 5% or more other breeding livestock
- reared 10% less calves / other livestock from the equivalent number of breeding stock
- had to re-sow 20% or more of an arable crop
 An editable application form and notes for guidance are available on the Scottish Government website at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/grants/WeatherAidScheme Completed applications must be returned by 5 July to: SGRPID, Q1Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD

New Entrants Fund
 More than 785 Scottish new entrants have registered an interest in the Scottish Government's £2 million New Entrants Fund. Applications are now being sent out to those who have registered. A closing date now set at July 5. More info at: http://bit.ly/12G8pZg

Fallen Stock
 Up to £750,000 is being made available to help subsidise the cost of disposing of livestock that have died as a result of the severe winter weather. Farmers who are already members of the National Fallen Stock Company need take no action.   The NFSCo will process refunds.
 Farmers who had animals collected through companies out with the NFSCo should complete an application form and submit it to NFSCo along with evidence (such as receipts or a paid invoice) to show that they have paid for collections made in the relevant period. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2013.
 Application forms are available on http://www.nfsco.co.uk/news.php or by emailing member@nfsco.co.uk or by calling the National Fallen Stock Company helpline on 08450 548888.  Ends

Date Published:

News Article No.: 87/13


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