Scotland is firming up on arrangements for the future delivery of support to the nation’s farmers under the new CAP arrangements agreed during the summer.
However, NFU Scotland is concerned about the impact that uncertainties around the deal are having at farm level.
Positive developments include the flexibility available to deliver support to new entrants, pragmatic ‘greening’ options for grassland farmers, the potential to couple support to vulnerable sectors and modelling on the options available to move existing businesses to an area-based support system.
Although budgets are becoming clearer, uncertainty still surrounds the level that base area payment rates are likely to be set at and whether the Scottish Government will opt to transfer more of the direct support (Pillar One) funding pot to rural development measures (Pillar Two) than is currently transferred through modulation.
There are also worries about the impact that the three-crop rule and requirements around environmental focus areas could have on our arable sector. Through ongoing dialogue with its membership, NFUS is aware that the level of uncertainty across all sectors is contributing to a number of Scottish farmers considering changes to their farming set-up or postponing business decisions.