NFU Scotland has used a Westminster government reception to urge MPs to support Scotland’s farmers ahead of a likely general election this year.

“The next parliamentary term will be pivotal for Scotland’s farmers and crofters," NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy said after the event on Tuesday. "Today’s event provided us with an excellent opportunity to put the importance of Scottish agriculture front and centre in the minds of numerous MPs from each of the main parties in Westminster.

"The sector punches well above its weight when it comes to supporting high-quality food production, meeting environmental challenges, underpinning rural communities, and sustaining multiple businesses and thousands of jobs. We will be pushing hard to see each of our key asks included in all parties’ manifestos as we approach the inevitable vote”.

Event sponsor Alistair Carmichael MP said: “Farmers in the isles and across Scotland deserve the strongest possible voice at the heart of government. I hope that colleagues across parliament will have taken away the positive message coming from the NFUS today.”


The best finished hoggs at Newton Stewart yesterday sold easily to a peak of £220/head for a pen of strong Texels from Traboyack or to 400p/kg for a Beltex from Glenstables, although a large consignment of store hoggs proved more difficult to place. Cast sheep sold to £160 for a Beltex cross from Dinmurchie with Mules peaking at £130 for Balker who also topped the Blackie ewes at £120.

Calves at Carlisle yesterday peaked at £620 for a British Blue bull from Waingate Head, with heifers selling to £580 for Jeanfield. Store heifers and bullocks sold to £2,200 and £1,980 respectively and achieved an overall average of £1,348/head. And a smaller entry of breeding cattle peaked at £2,200/head for Limousin heifers from Church Farm.

Hoggs at Longtown met with demand on Tuesday, selling to £180 for a Suffolk cross from Moss Side, while feeding ewes sold to £164 for a Bluefaced Leicester from Beacon Rigg. And ewes with lambs at foot sold to £152 for a one-crop pure Texel with twins from Kinning Hall.

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Dairy cattle at Ayr on Tuesday sold to £2,450 for an impressive fresh-calved Holstein Friesian heifer from Ditton, while calves sold to £550 for a British Blue cross bull from Barward and heifers peaked at the same price for Kaimhill. Stirks sold to £1,120 for an Angus cross heifer from Meikle Auchengree, while bullocks peaked at £1,060 for Acholter. And prime cattle topped at 324p/kg for a Limousin bullock from North Boig.

Prime heifers in Kirkwall on Monday sold to 318p/kg for a Limousin from South Seatter, while prime hoggs sold to 430p/kg for Texels from Mos, and store hoggs averaged £113/head and sold to £190 for Scarpigar.