uCASH-STRAPPED farmers and growers could be prevented from taking on extra help after the governments decision to raise the national minimum wage, according to the NFU. Those employing conventional agricultural workers will not be affected because they pay more than the new £4.10/hour minimum. But the 10% hike will hit casual labour bills, says the NFUs Bob Fiddaman. Horticulturists will be hit particularly hard because labour makes up 45% of their costs.
uGRANTS to invest in systems such as traceability software or electronic tagging should be made available to farmers to encourage them to insure against disease, claims an insurance adviser. Colin Wales, business manager for Q Farms, says the long-term solution would encourage otherwise reluctant farmers to adopt such systems. "They would then be more willing to invest in insurance if they could see they were getting something for their money." *