By Neale McQuistin

Demand for carbon audits by farmers and crofters in the first six months of the year has exceeded the number of completed audits undertaken over the whole of last year.

In 2018, just 99 applications for carbon audits were received, with 502 applications for the whole of 2021. The rate of applications dramatically increased in 2022, with 484 received between January and third week of July.

The audits provide key information to assist farmers and crofters improve on their efficiency and climate change resilience.

In the future, they will be delivered solely through the National Test Programme, while one-to-one advice services will continue to be available through the Farm Advisory Service.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The high demand for carbon audits highlights the key role Scotland’s farmers and crofters are playing in delivering priority climate change commitments and the just transition to our zero carbon targets.

“They really are engaging willingly with our shared ambitions here and I thank them for doing so. This shows what can be achieved with the right support.

“We want Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and carbon audits will continue to be an important part of that journey and I would urge more in the agri sector to engage with the process and play their part in the shift to sustainable, low carbon farming.”

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts held its weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday where prime cattle sold to 290p/kg.

Dairy type OTMs continued to be sought after and peaked at £1,470 and 198p for Holsteins to average156p/kg, while beef cows sold to £1,281 for a Hereford and 194p for a Limousin to average 181p overall.

There were also 665 prime lambs in Dumfries yesterday that bounced back upwards in price when compared to the previous week. There were 59 lambs (32.1kg-39kg) that sold to 282p and averaged 257p (+33p).

The bulk of the lambs (430) weighed (39.1kg-45.5kg) and peaked at £118 and 286p to average 248p (+19p).

There were also 176 heavier lambs (45.6kg+) that sold to £127 and 250p to average 242p.

Cast sheep (363) maintained recent if they were well fleshed but leaner types looked a shade easier this week. Texel ewes led the way at £192. North Country Cheviots sold to £120 with Blackfaces to £90.

Caledonian Marts Ltd sold 1,503 store lambs at its opening sale for 2022 in Stirling yesterday.

The overall average for all classes of lambs was £85.89 (+ £5.66 on the year).

Top price per head was £109 for a cross lamb with other leading prices being £100 for Texels and £97 for Beltex. Suffolk lambs peaked at £90, while mules sold up to £82.