The number of Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) claims in the Grampian area of Scotland have crashed by 4626 calves according to figures obtained by The Scottish Farmer.

The drop in calf claims between 2022 and 2023 amounts to a fall of 6.3% which is the fastest rate in the country. Overall, there were 13,269 fewer calf claims in Scotland for 2023 than in 2022 from 76 fewer businesses.

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The second largest drop in numbers was recorded in the south west which saw 2472 fewer calves claimed. Whilst the second largest fall as a percentage of the overall population was in Arygll and the Western Isles which lost nearly 1000 claims or 5.6%.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale the south east of Scotland recorded only 68 fewer calves between 2023 and 2022. Further, the central area reported a rise in businesses drawing down from the calf scheme with 9 more claimants.

Since fewer animals are being claimed it has resulted in a small increase in the payments per head. Mainland beef calves received £105.24 and island calves received £151.24 from a total pot of £40m.