Tag Archives: Farmers Weekly

Farmers Face 52% Income Loss

Farmers affected by the poor weather and the squeeze by on farmgate prices, could face a huge drop in income this coming year, reports Farmers Weekly, quoting DEFRA research.

The figures make sobering reading and surely must be a catalyst for change – how can any business be expected to continue to produce at no profit? The wider public must surely look beyond cheap food, and supermarkets must look at a fairer profit distribution.                                                              Wet_farmland_

Commenting on the research, NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell, said:

“Wheat yield and quality were hit by the weather, while it’s been well documented that rising costs outstripped farmgate price changes for dairy and pork producers at times during the past year. More recently, we can add the plummeting lamb price to the list of challenges the industry faces.

“The weather caused chaos across the board and has laid bare the importance of CAP payments. With profits squeezed, a larger number of farmers will again be forced to rely on CAP’s direct payments to underpin their business in the year ahead.

“Falling farm income data shatters the myth that high commodity prices would mean high profits. Farmers cannot produce at little or no profit indefinitely; they need to turn a profit and they need to re-invest. The reality is that price volatility, low profitability and falling confidence does not provide a secure framework for a sustainable food industry. These figures should be a wake-up call for us all. Managing risk and volatility are key and that must be recognised by both the government in its CAP negotiations and in pricing decisions taken by the food chain.”

Farmers facing hardship may contact the Rural Stress Helpline or the The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) who can offer advice and assistance.

The Farming Weekly article is here.

Are you the UK’s Top Milling Wheat Grower?

NABIM (National Association of Bristish & Irish Millers) and HGCA (the cereals and oilseeds division of AHDB – the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) have launched a joint competition to find the UK’s top milling wheat grower.

This annual competition has become established as formal recognition of how the country’s best growers combine attention to detail with end customer awareness and business acumen to create  win:win scenario for the whole Wheat Chain.

Photograph shows 2011 winner James Price.

You can read more about the competition on Farming Weekly with application forms available from NABIM and HGCA


Credits to FWI

The competition closes on 30th April and the winner will be announced later in the year at an industryawards ceremony at the Ritz Hotel.

Cereals 2009


 Cereals  – the leading technical event for the arable industry will be held on 10th & 11th June 2009

Venue – Vine Farm, Wendy, Nr Royston, Cambs,   

Find our more about the show by clicking here

See some of the highlights from last years show. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGGo_GcyBjs]

Farmers Weekly Awards – are you an industry Victor?

farmerFarmers often ask why the media don’t give more space and airtime to the positive stories in farming?

According to David Yelland an ex-editor of The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper, the answer lies in the industry projecting itself with confidence. Farmers need to portray themselves as “victors” rather than “victims”, he told the Oxford Farming Conference in January.

So, if you are a Farming Victor, or you know one, then why not nominate them – or enter yourself – for the 2009 Farmers Weekly Awards. And don’t rule out an entry on the grounds of size or because you assume there will be stronger entries. Everyone running an efficient business should be considered as worthy of being a winner.

The awards are about recognising the enormous contribution UK farmers make to society and the environment, celebrating achievements and innovation of farmers in order to greater promote the sector to the wider world.

As any industry award nominees and winners will testify, getting shortlisted is fantastic PR for you and your business. It can open doors to new contacts and business opportunities, as well as giving you and your staff a huge morale boost for the recognition of your hard work and dedication.

If all that isn’t enough, there’s the chance to attend one of the best nights in the farming calendar. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 8 October 2009. It’s a night not to be missed.

There are 16 categories up for grabs, and you can find the full details of these and, more importantly, how to enter, by clicking here.

Source FWi

VAT inspectors eye farm businesses




Diversified farm businesses are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs for failing to charge VAT. The authorities can recover up to three years’ back tax as well as charge penalties and interest.

Problems are most common where a diversification claims to be separate from the main farming business with a turnover under £67,000 and is, therefore, not VAT registered.

“If you get it wrong the liability could very quickly outweigh any advantages from diversification. HMRC is pursuing businesses vigorously,” said Robert Hatch, partner at accountant Ensors.

“Unless a proper structure and practices are in place to show the new business is run separately, HMRC often finds that the diversification is part of the farm business, which is usually VAT-registered.” Where this is the case, VAT should be charged on all eligible goods and services, not just those of the core farming operations, he said.

“We have seen several cases where the tax assessed is £18,000-25,000. B&B and holiday cottages appear to be current targets, although shooting is another area where HMRC has been active.”

Farm contracting, hiring sporting facilities like golf courses, caravan and camping pitch fees, and open-farm admissions are other examples where VAT should be charged, Mr Hatch said.

Source FWi – read the full article here

Contact HM Revenue & Customs here

Agricultural Jobs given French Polish!


  The French farming industry has launched a TV advertising campaign in order to attract people into agriculture.

FNSEA, the NFU’s counterpart in France, has come out with a series of very short television adverts to promote the industry.

The strapline, which translates to ‘farming jobs are in fashion’, aims to highlight that jobs in farming are diverse and that there are opportunities for people of all age groups.

The adverts feature a sheep with a mohican haircut and a cow with a ghetto blaster wearing sunglasses!

Source: Farmers Weekly Interactive

NFU’s ‘New Agenda for Farming Conference’

New Agenda For FarmingThe annual NFU conference, this year themed ‘The New Agenda for Farming’ kicks off in Birmingham next Monday, and upbeat NFU president Peter Kendall is to call on the government to ‘put its money where its mouth is when it comes to farming.’

Mr Kendall’s slot is directly before DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn, who signalled a more progressive attitude towards farmers when he spoke at last month’s Oxford Farming Conference.

“There was lots of really good stuff about Oxford,” says Mr Kendall. “What we want to do is pick up on that and set out the agenda we want to see for farming. We want to set out where farming has come from and show where it needs to go.”

In particular, he highlights Mr Benn’s “no ifs, not buts” Oxford insistence that the government wants British farmers to produce as much food as possible – so long as doing so sustains the environment and safeguards the landscape.

The government is at last starting to acknowledge the importance of agriculture, believes Mr Kendall, especially when it comes to food security. The view of Britain as a rich country that can buy itself out of trouble is crumbling, he adds.

“DEFRA is starting to make a lot of noises about food production being important. We want to make sure we have an input into government policy that means farming has a better chance of being successful and thriving.”

Mr Benn’s speech is not the only sign that the government has finally woken up to the potential of British agriculture. Just before Christmas, the Home Office increased the number of work permits for migrant farm workers by 5000.

The number of workers entering Britain under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme had been restricted to 16,250. But the number will rise to 21,250 this year in a bid to overcome a labour shortage that had seen crops left unharvested, states the Farmers Weekly