11 January 2002

British farmers at bottom of aid pile

Everyone knows that the playing field of Europe is uneven. But how steep the tilt is against UK producers is rarely quantified.

So, a new EU Commission study revealing that British farmers lag way behind their European partners when it comes to state aids, makes interesting reading.

In fact, the UK is at the bottom of the pile whether support is expressed as government assistance per person employed, or as a % of gross domestic product.

Co-incidentally, the study is published in a week when the French government has announced another 150mk (£93m) bail out for its beef producers – the third time in little over a year that it has stepped in.

Our new-look FWI is even more essential

The best on-line information service focusing on the business of farming, food and rural life has just got even better.

From today, our new look FARMERS WEEKLY Interactive will be even easier to find your way around. Packed with the latest news and business information, we have also incorporated sections on arable, livestock, machinery and topics for all the farming family.

For example, our new Talking Tackle Section will allow you to quiz fellow farmers or a panel of experts on machinery topics and the availability of parts.

So, if farming is your business, put yourself ahead of the field with the news, views and business information, courtesy of the new-look FARMERS WEEKLY Interactive.

Alarm bells ring on wormer resistance

Wormer resistance happens only in New Zealand, to someone elses sheep or, possibly, someone who doesnt rotate their wormers. Or does it?

News of a well managed Scottish flock becoming resistant to all three classes of anthelmintic should ring alarm bells for all flockmasters. At risk, if the problem is not taken seriously, is the sustainability of the UK sheep industry, warns a leading vet.

Wormers have served the sheep industry well for many

Alarm bells ring on wormer resistance

Wormer resistance happens only in New Zealand, to someone elses sheep or, possibly, someone who doesnt rotate their wormers. Or does it?

News of a well managed Scottish flock becoming resistant to all three classes of anthelmintic should ring alarm bells for all flockmasters. At risk, if the problem is not taken seriously, is the sustainability of the UK sheep industry, warns a leading vet.

Wormers have served the sheep industry well for many years and will continue to do so. But sensible management is required to prevent wormer resistance from taking hold and adding to the sheep industrys woes.

Dont be too hasty on beet compensation

Sugar beet growers exasperation over the abysmal performance of British Sugars Wissington factory is understandable. But calls for immediate compensation could be premature.

Producers and processor need to work together for mutual benefit, as the Irish sugar industry demonstrated recently.

The technical problems that have seen Wissington grinding to a halt have been equally frustrating for BS staff. And some moves to ease growers cash flows have been made.

But until the true extent of individual losses become clear it makes sense for the NFU to keep its powder dry in reparation negotiations. Recent frosts show how quickly the situation can change.

ADASonly practising what it preaches

Good advice plays a crucial role in gaining top returns. But its not easy gathering worthwhile information and tailoring it to fit specific on-farm needs. And it does not come cheaply.

Moves by ADAS to cut more overheads from its arable consultancy are a sign of the times. Advisers who urge farmers to strip costs from their businesses, and pool resources in pursuit of economies of scale, are practising what they preach.

For farmers that can only mean a more cost-effective service.

AgriVision road-show will repay a visit

Want to put facts about the future face of farming at your fingertips? Then look out for a series of AgriVision road-shows to be held throughout the UK.

The first to be held at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge on Jan 23, focuses on the availability of government and European grants.

Organised by the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Organi- sation at the RASE, it promises to be a first class opportunity to help you to help your business.