Calf Scheme Figures Positive Signal for Beef Herd

Scottish Government confirms SBCS payments out next week

NFU Scotland has welcomed confirmation that the number of beef calves securing payment under the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) has risen for the second year in a row and that monies paid out under the scheme will start to hit bank accounts next week.  

According to Scottish Government figures, 7900 Scottish beef producers submitted claims for approximately 434,000 calves in 2011.   By comparison, this is approximately 10,000 more calves than in 2010 and around 26,500 more than in 2009.

Payments for the 2011 SBCS will start to arrive in bank accounts from next Tuesday (April 24), with 95 per cent of recipients expected to receive their payment by the end of April.

Before modulation, this year's payment rate is set at £102.44 (EU118.20) for each of the first ten eligible animals, and £51.22 (EU59.10) for the remainder.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said:

“The continued increase in beef calf numbers being claimed under this important scheme and a commitment to get almost all calf scheme payments into bank accounts by the end of the month are both good news stories for Scotland’s beef sector.

“Higher numbers of beef calves being claimed under the scheme may contradict the most recent census results on declining beef cow numbers.  However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that beef producers are being more ruthless when it comes to culling barren cows.    If this indicates higher levels of reproductive efficiency in Scottish herds, then there is room for cautious optimism that we can sustain calf numbers and output as we move into an era of ongoing higher costs.

“This payment run will be the last under the existing SBCS rules but the good news is that its 2012 replacement, the new Scottish Beef Scheme is already in place, underpinning the Scottish beef industry.

“A standalone scheme supporting beef production has been an important part of the basket of support measures available to Scottish farmers and crofters and the ongoing availability of such schemes in the future will be an important part of NFU Scotland’s priorities as we discuss the future shape of CAP support in the coming weeks and months.”


The Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS) is a direct support scheme aimed at specialist beef producers breeding beef calves from suckler cows.

The new Scottish Beef Scheme was introduced in January 2012 following discussions held as part of the CAP review. It replaces the SBCS and allows funding to be targeted towards smaller herds through reweighted payment levels where the first ten eligible animals will receive three times the rate of any subsequent eligible animal. There is no limit to the number of claims that can be made.

For animals to be eligible for the new Scottish Beef Scheme they must meet the following criteria:

  • Calves must be at least 75 per cent beef bred
  • Animals must have been born on a Scottish holding and kept there for 30 days
  • Animals must be born on or after December 2, 2009 and have a valid cattle passport

The payment rate for eligible animals under the SBCS 2011 is dependent upon the total number of animals claimed under the scheme.   Payments will be modulated.   Claims made in 2011 will be modulated at 14% for the majority people because most will have already received aid via the Single Farm Payment to a value greater than €5,000.   If this is not the case, modulation will be lower as the first €5,000 of cumulative scheme payments is modulated at 9%.


Payment Rate (€)

Payment Rate Before Modulation

Payment Rate After Modulation

First 10 calves








(exchange rate is €1=£0.86665) 

For comparison purposes the table below shows the rates for the 2010 Scottish Beef Calf Scheme. The modulation rate in 2010 was 14%.


Payment Rate (€)

Payment Rate Before Modulation

Payment Rate After Modulation

First 10 calves








(exchange rate is €1=£0.85995)


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 40/12

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