A revival in walking wheat off the farm, by feeding it to stock, when grain prices are low may be on the cards if producers can generate sufficient finishing income.

Tim Rymer, chairman of JSR Genetics, said the shake-up of farm supports could see a resurgence of old farming practices used to tackle downturns in commodity prices.

“However, we must be aware that our markets have changed.

We operate in a truly global arena where distance is dead,” he said.

“There will continue to be a move to fewer, larger livestock operations possibly booking more capacity at a single feed mill to achieve economies of scale in the sourcing of inputs.

These businesses will be obsessed by cost control.”

There is room for co-operation among farms to make enterprises viable, but significant factors have to be tackled.

“We have to accept our skills base has been undermined.

We can expect to see more east European labour being used – a region where the pig sector is still seen as a respectable trade in which to be involved.”