By Neale McQuistin

NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement that Scotland’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) will open to applications in January 2021, albeit on a limited basis and without detail on what funding is to be made available.

This follows a concerted effort by the Union to ensure continuity of the main scheme for biodiversity and climate change in Scotland and which provides vital support to farmers, crofters and those who undertake environmental land management.

The Scottish Government will open a restricted round for new applications on January 25 and close after an extended application period on June 30.

Market report

C&D Auction Marts sold 4,520 prime lambs and 1,926 cast sheep at Longtown on December 29. The large show of prime lambs was topped at 337p for a pen of ten Beltex. Heavy lambs saw a slight rise in the week with many good runs of commercial heavies averaging well over £105 and sold to a top price of £145 for Texels. The overall average for the sale of lambs was 232p. Heavy ewes topped the sale at £182 for a pure-bred Texel, while Cheviots sold to £88 and Blackfaces to £85.