By Alec Ross

Launching NFU Scotland’s 2024 manifesto today, president Martin Kennedy, said: “We need commitments from the next UK Government, and we need the full support of all prospective Scottish MPs who should all be championing the interests of Scottish agriculture.

Mr Kennedy laid out five priority areas in the manifesto. These are to deliver increased, ring-fenced and multi-annual funding; improve producer margins to increase food security ; better access to skilled workers; protect domestic food production in future trade deals; increase fiscal incentives.

“Covering over 74 percent of Scotland, active farming and crofting is key to helping to meet climate and biodiversity needs,” said Mr Kennedy. “High-quality agricultural production is vital to the wider food and drink industry – a sector that’s worth over £16 billion to the Scottish economy, employs over 130,000 people, and supports Scotland’s national reputation on the world stage.

“It’s as good as certain there will be a General Election this year to form the next UK Government. While most policy, legislation and regulation which directly and indirectly relates to our interests in the future prosperity of Scottish agriculture is devolved to Holyrood and the Scottish Government, our attention and influence must also be fixed on Westminster.

“There are fundamental issues that are reserved to the UK Government, such as trade, migration, and internal market issues. Top of the list is the fundamental need to deliver increased, ring-fenced and multi-annual funding”.


Well-fleshed hoggs at Newton Stewart yesterday again met with strong demand and averaged 376p/kg or £178/head, and sold to £226/head for Texels from Auchentibbert or to 447p/kg for Beltexes from Traboyack, while Blackies sold to £185/head or to 400p/kg for Balgracie. And Mules sold to £189/head for Mid Skeog or to 370p/kg for Carse O’Clary.

Hoggs also remained an excellent trade at Dingwall on Tuesday, particularly for export grades, and heavier types also held up well. Hill ewes sold particularly well, regularly selling to £130-£140/head, and a lack of pure ewes meant a solid day’s trading in that sector.

Store cattle had another strong day’s trading at Lockerbie on Tuesday, with heifers selling to £1,800 for a Limousin from Belzies, who also topped the bullock section at £1,740 for the same breed, while native bullocks peaked at £1,600 for Newbigging.

Calves and stirks traded strongly at Ayr on Tuesday with calves selling to £580 for a British Blue bull from Messrs Dalgleish, with heifers peaking at £550 for the same breed and vendor. And stirks sold to £890 for a Simmental cross heifer from Greenhead, while bullocks from the same home sold to £820.