Skip to content

Agribusiness News May 2023 – Policy Brief

1 May 2023

2023 Single Application Form

The submission period for 2023 Single Application Forms (SAF) opened on the 15th of March 2023 and will close at midnight on Monday 15th May 2023.

Tuberculosis controls tightening

While Scotland was recognised as being officially Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) free (OTF) by the European Commission in September 2009; maintaining OTF status is crucial to the continuing success of the Scottish cattle industry.

From the 18th of May, farmers bringing cattle into Scotland will be subject to tighter controls in order to reduce the risk of spreading Bovine Tuberculosis.

The new pre-movement testing requirements apply to cattle coming to Scotland from a TB high incidence area, including those coming from a low incidence TB area that have been in a high incidence TB high incidence area in any time of their life.

Eligible cattle, as above, will require a clear pre-movement test within 30 days prior to the movement to Scotland if tested after 18 May.  This requirement was previously 60 days.  Additional changes also mean that a negative TB test in a herd under movement restrictions will no longer be accepted as a qualifying pre-movement test, even if the test allows these restrictions to be lifted.

new definition for isolation will also be introduced, and compensation will be reduced for cattle which are not properly isolated. This will strengthen the protection of the main herd against onward spread of infection from any reactors or suspect reactors.

Further information and guidance on Bovine TB is available on the Scottish Government website.

New Scottish Agricultural Minimum Wage Rates

  • From the 1st of April 23, the minimum hourly rate has been increased by 92p per hour to equal the UK Government’s National Living Wage of £10.42.
  • For workers who undertake an SCQF Level 4 or 5 or equivalent in Agriculture / Horticulture, the minimum hourly rate will increase by 58 pence per hour to £6.53.
  • Workers who hold a Scottish or National Vocational Qualification in an agricultural/horticultural subject at SCQF 6 or above; an apprenticeship certificate approved by Lantra Awards (formerly ATB Landbase); or a certificate of acquired experience issued by ATB Landbase, NTO are entitled to an additional sum of £1.55 per hour.
  • The overtime rate for all workers remains at 1.5 times the agreed hourly rate, with a minimum payment of £15.63 per hour
  • Where it is necessary for a worker to keep and feed a dog (or dogs) to enable them to do their job then they must be paid an allowance of £8.00 per working dog up to a maximum of four dogs
  • The daily rate for accommodation off-set for accommodation provided by an employer other than a house is to increase to £9.10
  • Provisions regarding Stable Income Arrangement, Benefit and Bereavement Leave remain unchanged.

Further information on the Scottish Agricultural Wages Order No 70 can be found here.

PSF – Carbon Audits and Soil Testing

Under the Preparing for Sustainable Farming scheme, tutorial videos are now available to help business to apply for carbon audits or soil analysis.  The step-by-step guides are available on the Scot Gov Preparing for Sustainable Farming support page.

UK Asia Trade Deal

The UK has signed a deal to join a trade pact with 11 Asia and Pacific nations.  Joining the group will boost UK exports by cutting tariffs on goods such as cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin, and whisky.

However, the government's own estimates show being in the bloc will only add 0.08% to the size of the UK's economy.

Key dates

ABN May 2

Sign up to the FAS newsletter

Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service