17 August 2001

Consultants advice

SPECIALIST technical and business advice is now available from NFU-approved consultants.

The consultations are not free but NFU south-west technical adviser, Mike Ellingham, said: "We know these consultants are capable of delivery."

Free advice was increasingly difficult to find, he said, with the Farm Business Advice Service effectively stopped through lack of funds – apart from those farmers who were already signed up and started, and those whose stock had been killed out because of foot-and-mouth. "There is still nothing for the form Ds. Weve campaigned hard for it and will keep on doing so," he said.

The lack of funds to continue the FBAS is also worrying the banks and the Rural Stress Information Network, according to its south-west project director James Morrish. Speaking at Devon County Show he warned of mounting problems this winter, particularly for those short of fodder and straw as well as cash shortage following prolonged periods under form D restrictions. &#42