1 November 2001
British growers can be competitive

By James Garner

BRITISH arable farmers can be the most competitive in the world despite the crisis in the countryside, claims a leading accountancy firm.

Mark Hill, head of Deloitte and Touche agriculture, said challenges lay ahead but British farmers were in the premier league.

UK agriculture has advantages, such as a ready supply of water and easy access to a market, he said.

Its disadvantage is high land costs, but the key thing is to exploit the UKs yield potential.

If farmers can push their wheat yields to 15t/ha and reduce costs by another 10% to just 60/t, then we will easily be in the top tier.

Mr Hill said it was cheaper to market grain in the UK than in the US.

In Kansas it cost the equivalent of about 20/t to move grain to a deep water port. But it cost about 7/t in the UK, he claimed.

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