Archive Article: 1996/01/05 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

Ramblers Association Membership: 112,000 individuals and 77,000 members of affiliated clubs and societies; 189,000 supporters.

Campaign successes: successful 60th Jubilee recruitment drive and vigorous local campaigning to ensure the national rights of network is free of obstructions by the year 2000.

Challenges for 1996: Continuing the campaign against footpath obstructions and halting the forced sale of Forestry Commission woodlands. Promoting a bill to allow public access to open country, with safeguards to protect the interests of other country users.

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

NFU Membership: About 100,000 full, part-time and associate farmer members; NFU countryside 30,000 members; NFU corporate 60 members.

Campaign successes: The judicial review which proved MAFF had acted illegally in allocating sheep quota from the 1993 reserve to developers. Achieving EU-wide recognition of the need to raise animal welfare standards across Europe.

Challenges for 1996: Ensuring GATT rules are applied equitably. Retaining the EU ban on the use of growth promoting hormones.

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

RSPCA: Membership: 25,824. Supporters: 900,000.

Campaign successes: Animal cruelty statistics down for the first time in five years. Joining with other welfare groups to challenge MAFF in the High Court over veal calf exports. Extending Freedom Foods scheme to include 4m farm animals.

Challenges for 1996: Continuing the campaign to ban veal crates. Achieving increased space allowances for laying hens and better facilities for roosting and perching in battery units.

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

PIG farmers with land, and the will to change their husbandry methods, might consider switching to wild boar production when stalls and tethers have to be abandoned in December 1998.

An embryo wild boar production industry has been established in Britain over the past 10 years, and demand for both meat and purebred stock cannot now be satisfied.

"So as well as interest from existing pig farmers weighing up the options for post-1999, a wild boar enterprise could become a profitable addition to other farming businesses.

"Our members tell me they have no problem in marketing wild boar meat either direct to butchers and restaurants, or to wholesalers," says Dr Derek Booth, secretary of the British Wild Boar Association.

The BWBA was founded in 1989 with the aim of promoting the commercial development, welfare and understanding of husbanded wild boar in Britain.

"There appears to be a bottomless pit in the meat market at present, and there is tremendous scope for expansion of the industry," says Dr Booth.

"But for most farmers wild boar production should not be considered as a primary enterprise with a quick return," he cautions.

"If weaners are purchased, it will take two or three years before the business shows a profit."

Dr Booth says the main set-up costs for wild boar farming are fencing at £3-5 a metre run, and the purchase of breeding stock. He puts the average price of six-month old purebreds at £200 each, and mature breeding animals at £500-600 each.

Sale prices for 44kg (100lb) carcasses range between £2.65/kg and £5.50/kg (£1.20/lb and £2.50/lb) depending on whether wholesaled or sold direct to restaurants and butchers.

Dr Booth reckons that after the first few years a herd of 20 breeding sows should generate a profit of about £7000 a year with 75% of stock going for meat and 25% sold for breeding.

Further information on wild boar farming is available from Dr Booth by sending a stamped/addressed envelope to the British Wild Boar Association, 30 Fen Road, Milton, Cambridge CB4 6AD.

Michael Gaisford

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

Growers bitter at BS payment error

SUGAR beet growers have expressed dismay that British Sugar is to deduct £2.93/t to recoup an over-payment it made on last seasons C beet……………………….page 15

Pig out

HANTS-based Usborne is getting out of pigs, selling its Daisy Hill Pigs business to BOCM PAULS in a deal worth £7.4m…………..page 15

Fair split

LANDOWNERS are being encouraged to keep an eye on the future when setting up contract farming arrangements and not to go all out for short term gain………..page 16

Meat optimist

THE outlook for red meat in 1996 is a rosy one, according to Scottish wholesalers leader, John Scott. Trade has recovered some of the recent lost groundas a result of the BSEscare…………….page 16Land rise

AN end-of-the-year survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts more land price rises in 1996………………………page 16

Taxing times

ACCOUNTANTS Grant Thornton answer more readers questions on outstanding tax matters……………..page 17

Marginally better

BOTH sheep and cattle enterprises showed a slight improvement in gross margins in the year to Sept 30, 1995 at Gelli Garneddau according to ADAS costings…page 18

Talking pigs

PIG auctioneer Nigel Stephenson at York market believes the toughs will be shallower and the market more buoyant during 1996………………………page 25

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

Store cattle were selling well at the opening sale in Salisburys new market on Tuesday, following its relocation to make way for a supermarket. Friesians made to £762 per head. The entry of 270 cull cows, meanwhile, averaged 80.9p/kg, with the best price of 127p/kg taken by the first lot through the ring. Among the finished cattle, steers levelled at 114.5p/kg. (Southern Counties Auctioneers)

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

Fed up with ferreting about for that perennially wayward 19mm spanner? Then Clarke Power Products claims to have the solution. The firms steel wall rack is supplied with 17 tool holders which are capable of handling a selection of hand tools including spanners, screwdrivers, saws and wrenches. Measuring 1150mm wide by 630mm high (45in x 28in), the rack is priced at £24.

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Archive Article: 1996/01/05

5 January 1996

RSPB: Membership; 890,000.

Campaign successes 1995: Recognition in the rural white paper of declines in farmland birds. A change to set-aside rules to allow land entered into agri-environment/forestry schemes to count as set-aside. Additional £10m for countryside stewardship and the launch of recommendations for the bio-diversity action plan.

Challenges for 1996: To reverse decline in farmland birds and other wildlife by – implementing the rural white paper, the bio- diversity action plan, expanding agri- environment schemes to arable areas and introducing conditions on arable area payments.

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