Payments from a loan scheme designed to help vulnerable farmers and crofters in Scotland have started, the Scottish government said.
More than 7,400 payments worth more than £45 million have been processed and will be paid next week.
Further payments are likely to follow as a total of 11,000 letters have been issued offering eligible businesses the opportunity to benefit from the 2016 National Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS).
These loan payments will be automatically deducted from EU payments once LFASS 2016 applications are fully processed.
Further payment runs will be made in the coming weeks.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I understand how important these payments are for farmers, crofters and the wider rural economy, so I’m delighted to see the money being released to those that require this much needed financial security.
“This scheme will pump millions into the rural economy at an important time enabling farmers and crofters to get on with purchases and investments for the crucial summer and autumn months.
“Farmers and crofters who accept the offer, but have missed the 5 May deadline, will still receive the full payment to which they are entitled, and will receive it as soon as possible.
“I’d encourage anyone yet to apply for an LFASS loan to do so.”