By Neale McQuistin

NFU Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s new Cabinet team, including Mairi Gougeon, the new Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands.

NFU Scotland’s president Martin Kennedy said: “The redesigning of roles on matters that affect the Scottish rural economy and the environment brings a fresh dynamic at a pivotal time for our industry.

“We are emerging into a post-CAP, post-Brexit, post-pandemic era where the Scottish Government has a unique opportunity to put the nation’s farming and food industries at the very heart of our green recovery, and our response to addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity in Scotland.

“We look forward to engaging with all Cabinet Secretaries and working with them on behalf of farmers and crofters.

“Specifically on Scotland’s future agricultural policy, we look forward to working again with Mairi Gougeon as she sets up the integrated implementation board to drive forward the recent recommendations of the farmer-led climate change groups.

On Fergus Ewing’s departure from Cabinet, Mr Kennedy said: “We wish Fergus and his family well and we are certain that his position as an MSP in a rural constituency like Inverness and Nairn means farming issues are never likely to be far from his door.

“Although it has been a relatively short time since I became president at NFU Scotland, my working relationship with Fergus now, and as a vice-president over the previous four years, has been highly valued on my part.”

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson sold 499 prime and cast sheep at Newton Stewart yesterday.

There was a larger show of new season prime lambs this week (185) which sold to £154 for a pen of heavyweight Suffolks to average 309p k/g or £138. Lead price per kilo was 323p for a pen of 10 Texels.

The 161 prime hoggs were a poor show for quality – averaging 225p/kg. Top prices were £141 and 277p for the same pen of Cheviot hoggs. Cast sheep were a similar trade on the week topping at £152 for a Texel, while Mules peaked at £100 with Blackfaces to £78.

C&D Auctions held its weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday where prime heifers sold to a top of 265p/kg, while bullocks peaked at 242p for an Aberdeen Angus.

OTMs sold to £1,319 and 169p/kg to average 169p for dairy cattle, while beef cattle peaked at £1,184 and 161p to average 142p. New season lambs (42) were mainly heavier types which sold to £152 for Texels and £150 for Suffolks.

Season hoggs sold to £168 for Texels.

Cast sheep were sharper on the week. Heavy ewes sold to £136 for a Texel, while Mules peaked at £103 and Blackfaces to £98.