Farmers on Bute have been urged to check that their land has been correctly designated by the Scottish Government ahead of changes to EU agricultural subsidies next year.
Land on all Scottish farms is being divided into three ‘payment regions’ under reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy in which the Single Farm Payment will be replaced by the Basic Farm Payment.
And though letters have been sent out to Scotland’s farmers from the Scottish Government’s rural payments inspection division (RPID) in the last two weeks classifying the land on each farm, concerns have been raised with the country’s farmers’ union that some of the descriptions given are not correct.
NFU Scotland has already received calls from members expressing concern that either field parcels have been missed out completely or that they believe their better land has been wrongly classified as rough grazing.
NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said: “All farmers and crofters must check the letter that RPID has sent them. There is a short window of opportunity now to get your land in to the right payment region.
“If you have any concerns that what RPID has sent you is incorrect then contact your local RPID office now – you only have 60 days from the time that the letter is dated.
“If you have field parcels that are a mix of Rough Grazing Regions (RGR) and Permanent Grassland (PGRS), i.e. rough grazing and better green ground, then our understanding is that if at least 40 per cent of the field is PGRS then the whole parcel will be classified as region 1.
“However, if 60 per cent is rough grazing then the whole field parcel will be either RGR region 2 or 3. Equally if you have areas designated as Region 1 PGRS/arable and they are obviously RGR then you need to tell RPID about them or you could face a penalty at inspection.”
The Scottish Government is holding a roadshow event, explaining how the new-look CAP will work, at the Kingarth Hotel on Bute on Tuesday, December 9 at 7.30pm.