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A range of measures that are in place to help Scottish farmers who have been hit by 2012’s adverse weather, have been lauded by Clydesdale MSP, Aileen Campbell.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said the Scottish Government would do all it could to support those farmers who had been affected.

This includes writing to banks to update them on the timing of Single Farm Payments and asking them to provide maximum flexibility for those farmers whose payments are not made at the start of December.

Aileen commented:

"Clydesdale, like the rest of Scotland, has experienced extreme weather throughout 2012 and this has created challenging conditions for our farmers. That’s why I’m delighted the Scottish Government has announced these measures.

"As well as prioritising Single Farm Payments - which provide a valuable lifeline for many farmers - I am pleased the Scottish Government are also updating the banks on the payment situation and urging them to show leniency to those farmers who have yet to receive their payments.

"In addition, our farmers will welcome the news that there will be a further round of Axis One and Three Rural Priorities funding, open to new entrants, next year. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting this vital group of farmers in rural business development projects to enhance the future of Scottish agriculture as we near the end of the current programme, when budgets are limited to key priority areas.

"Help is also on hand for farmers encountering problems with the slurry rules. Even in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, I know that area office staff have already been working with farmers to avoid or reduce penalties and of the small number of farmers who have made contact so far for help, most have avoided penalties completely.

"Agriculture is hugely important to Scotland and to our economy. These measures are another example of the Scottish Government working closely with the sector, not only on the macro issues, but also on the day to day challenges it faces".

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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