SCOTLAND'S beef farmers are being reminded to apply for the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme ahead of the December 31 deadline.

Applications for the scheme can be made online through the rural payments website or on paper.

The scheme gives direct support to specialist beef producers. It has an annual budget of €38m for beef calves born on the Scottish mainland and €6.6m for claims from the Scottish islands. Support is available on male and female calves providing they are at least 75 per cent beef bred. Calves must be born on a Scottish holding and kept there for 30 days. That means animals born on or after December 2, 2017 are not eligible until next scheme year.