The Scottish Government has announced the start of the recruitment process for five land commissioners and one tenant farming commissioner (TFC). The setting up of a Scottish Land Commission (SLC) is a key part of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016. It will review law and policy, and make recommendations to Scottish Ministers on any matter relating to Scotland's land.

Scottish Tenant Farming Association chairman, Christopher Nicolson said: "The setting up of a Tenant Farming Commissioner as part of the Land Commission is an essential ingredient of the Land Reform act. It was originally recommended by the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group (AHLRG) and has the backing of landlord and tenant organisations alike.

"The TFC will have a pivotal role in the years ahead in improving relationships between landlords and tenants, and seeing fair play in the tenanted sector - so it is vital that the right person is chosen for the job.

"With the majority of experienced people in the sector being labelled as working for one side or the other, finding someone to fit the bill who is seen as impartial, and can win the trust and respect of all, will be difficult."

Mr Nicolson went on: "The foundation of the TFC's work has already been laid by the Independent Adviser for Tenant Farming, Andrew Thin, who is well through the initial task of drawing up codes of practice, setting standards for the behaviour of land agents and helping to broker agreements in disputes. Land agents came under considerable criticism during the AHLRG's investigations and remain under the spotlight of parliamentary scrutiny, and one of the TFC's first tasks will be to review the ways in which they operate and recommend possible improvements."

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 3829 store lambs in Longtown on Tuesday. Top prices and averages for selected breeds: BTex to £80 and averaged £67.73 (+£6.96 on the week); Suffolks £80 and £62.88 (+£1.77); Texels £75 and £61.28 (+£1.62); Cheviot Mules £66 and £58.07 (-£6.79); Greyfaces £72 and £52.36 (-£1.30).

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 6 prime heifers at Ayr on Tuesday to a top of 223p per kg and an average of 218.2p, while 12 prime bulls peaked at 206p and levelled at 188.2p.

In the rough ring 86 beef cows sold to £1240 per head and 165.2p per kg to average 175.7p, while 114 dairy cows peaked at £940 and 119.5p to level at 92.1p. Twelve bulls sold to £1170 and 131.9p to average 103.2p.

The firm also had 16 dairy cattle forward, including 10 older cows, that sold to £1250 for a second-calved Holstein Friesian and averaged £1001.