THE Suckler Beef Climate Group has published its “blueprint” on how the beef sector in Scotland can reduce its climate change impact and enhance the environment at the same time as making the Scottish suckler beef sector more resilient and efficient.

The group was set up by the Scottish Government and is chaired by former NFUS president Jim Walker, and is made up of farmers of all ages and backgrounds across Scotland who are committed to a future within the industry.

Whilst the report acknowledges the importance of the beef sector to theScottish economy, particularly the rural economy, it does not shy away from the challenge of addressing its impact on the climate and the environment. Group chair Jim Walker said: “The Scottish suckler beef herd is the engine room that drives economic activity and environmental management across large swathes of rural Scotland from the Northern isles to the Southern uplands.

“Suckler cows offer an irreplaceable way of turning grazing land, permanent pasture, and poor-quality rough grazing on the hills and uplands of Scotland into a much sought-after, internationally renowned and high-quality source of protein.

“Scotland has a unique opportunity to show the world that modern food production can operate hand in hand with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The fight against global warming, the preservation of our precious biodiversity, and improving economic activity, employment and food security are so important, and we can't afford to wait any longer talking about them. We need to act now.”

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 1,239 prime and cast sheep at Newton Stewart yesterday.

The 849 prime lambs were a good show for quality with fewer heavy lambs as previous weeks. All classes sold dearer to average 199p/kg overall. Top prices were £96 for a Texel and 218p/kg for a pen of Texels. All classes of cast sheep would also be slightly dearer on the week topping at £120 for Texels with Mules to £67.

C & D Auctions Ltd sold 98 cattle, 852 prime lambs and 571 cast sheep at their weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday.

Prime cattle sold to 232p/kg for a Limousin cross bullock, while OTM cattle sold to £1225 for a Charolais cow and to 155p for a Limousin.

Prime lambs were sharper overall on the week. Top prices were £104 for a heavy Texel and 228p/kg for lightweight and for midweight lambs. There were 504 lambs in the 39kg – 45kg weight range which averaged 207p/kg which was a healthy rise of 15p on the week.

All classes of cast sheep were sharper this week with particularly strong demand for heavy ewes. Top price on the day was £140 for a Texel, while Blackfaces peaked at £65.