Alec Ross

NFU Scotland has written to Scotland’s newly appointed Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary, Shona Robison MSP, seeking confirmation that £33 million deferred from the agricultural budget last year will be returned.

In the Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget Review (EBR) in 2022, £33m of funding awarded to Scotland as part of the 2019 Bew Review into the fair allocation of agricultural support was deferred, after which the then Finance Secretary John Swinney confirmed that the monies would be returned in future years to ultimately deliver on rural priorities.

Commenting on the letter, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy said: “Agricultural policy in both Scotland and the rest of the UK is undergoing significant change in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, so there are critical issues around funding – not least because most farmers and crofters consider uncertainty around funding as the most significant threat to their businesses.

"So clarity on future support would provide welcome reassurance, and as a union we want to secure the industry’s future as well as that of the thousands of jobs within the sector”.


Trade at Newton Stewart yesterday was very much a two-tier affair, with fleshier animals much in demand while leaner types proved a hard sell.

In the final analysis, an average of 279p/kg was achieved and trade peaked at £159 for heavier Texels from Glenstables and to 348p/kg for a Beltex from Ian McMaster, Knocknain.

Blackfaces from Barlaughlan sold to £142/head or 314p/kg while cast Texel tups from South Belfern sold to £121/head. Texels also led the cast ewe trade, selling to £175 for Bankhead, with Mules from Duchra selling to £110 and Blackfaces from Balmurrie selling to £98.

Prime cattle at Dumfries sold easily to a high of 328p/kg for Yett with Limousins from Marchbank selling to £1,548/head. 346 prime hoggs were sharper on the week with flesh attracting a premium, and Texel hoggs from Hoddomtown and Glenkiln selling to £176 and 353p/kg respectively.

Heavy ewes averaged £108 and sold to £162 for Pumplaburn, while lighter ewes from the same home sold to £98 for Cheviots.

C&D Auction Marts held its weekly sale of store hoggs and feeding ewes at Longtown on Tuesday, with all classes remaining in demand.

Texel store hoggs sold to £124/head for Cumstone, with Cheviots selling to £110/head for Bloch and mules to £100/head for Dallowie.

Meanwhile, a large entry of ewes with lambs at foot sold to £116/head for a three shear Texel cross ewe and hoggs with lambs at foot met with a strong enquiry, with Messrs Taylor leading the sale at £138/head for Texel crosses.

Firm trade and high quality stock dominated at Ayr on Tuesday, with a Limousin cross bullock from North Boig selling to 341p/kg or £2,097 gross, while a Limousin heifer from High Gameshill sold for £2,000.

All rough ring classes sold well, with a Limousin bull from Walton selling for £2,300 and an Aberdeen Angus heifer from Glenlussa selling for £1,780.