• FARM LEVY administrator, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, has announced that its various divisions are to be rebranded later this year to create "a simplified family of levy-payer facing brands".

  • PUBLIC COMPLAINTS about the use of sewage sludge on agricultural land have prompted a formal review of the legislation and 'good practice' guidance.

  • LEVIES COLLECTED from potato growers should be re-directed to boost sales promotion and further the campaign to have spuds added to the 'five-a-day' list of healthy vegetables.

  • SCOTLAND'S MEAT industry leaders are looking for positive action on two key fronts this year - practical results from last year's Beef 2020 Report and the commissioning of Food Standards Scotland.

  • FARMERS HAVE been told to be aware of the consequences of driving machinery with bale spikes, pallet forks or tines.

  • A FERRY tariff scheme should be extended to commercial vehicles in a bid to boost fragile island economies.

  • THOSE WITH a view on land reform have been urged to take part in the Scottish Government's consultation before it closes.

  • REFORM OF Scotland's agricultural holdings legislation must be included in the wider Land Reform Bill - or tenant farmers will once again be left in limbo.

  • WHILE ALL dairy producers are struggling with milk price turmoil, the situation for those in the First Milk camp is the most worrying, having had their already-reduced payments delayed by a fortnight - so this week the co-op's bosses faced tough questioning at two meetings in Fenwick on Wednesday and Carlisle on Friday.

  • Following a meeting with dairy farmers in Stirlingshire, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

  • NFU Scotland is encouraged that the UK Government's Command Paper recognises Lord Smith's recommendation that transparency and communication should be improved between governments, and will engage further with the process to see how this could be developed to ensure better representation at an EU level in future negotiations.

  • RETIRING NFUS president Nigel Miller used some of his last days in office to visit Orkney last weekend, where regional board chairman Brian Moss (right) presented him with a big basket of local food, drink and crafts in recognition of his work on behalf of Orkney farmers.

  • RURAL CHARITY RSABI has reminded hard-pressed rural families that it is "here to help", particularly in these grim winter months.

  • ALL SCOTTISH sheep and goat keepers must try to return their annual inventory form before January 31, NFU Scotland has stressed.

  • EUROPE COULD hold the key to easing the financial pain in the dairy sector, if the Brussels political machine can be persuaded to introduce a 'realistic' intervention price for milk.

  • David Barnes this week formally took up the post of Chief Agricultural Officer for Scotland, while the previous incumbent, Drew Sloan, departed the Scottish Government for a post in the private sector.

  • "AS WE enter the New Year, the Scottish Government has launched 'Rural Payments and Services', a brand new system for rural funding which will deliver nearly £4 billion of support to Scotland's farming, food and rural sectors over the next five years.

  • FARMERS WHO want to apply for funding from Scotland's new agri-environment schemes would be well advised to set the ball rolling now.

  • A FARM machinery show being held at Balmoral Park, at the former 'Maze' prison site in Northern Ireland, became a casualty of the bad weather last Thursday.

  • ABERDEENSHIRE FARMERS are being offered an update on the progress of CAP Reform at a free event to be held at the Thainstone Exchange, Inverurie, next Wednesday, January 28.