31 March 2000

Firms combine for survival

CWS Agriculture and JSR Farming have joined forces to create a new contract farming company that will combine the management of both the firms arable operations in Kincardineshire.

Fasque Home Farms, contract-farmed by JSR for the past five years, and Thornton Farms, a business in which CWS has been a farming partner for 13 years, will be managed jointly from September.

Cropping on the total 850ha (2100 acres) will comprise winter wheat and barley, with oilseed rape as the break crop, and a small amount of spring barley. Seed potatoes will also be grown.

Mike Calvert, general manager of the CWS Farms group, said the 25-30% fall in commodity prices in the past three years had affected all in the agricultural industry. With little prospect of any improvement, farmers had to realise that standing still was not an option.

Scale, technical ability and efficiency were all vital if businesses were to survive in the increasingly competitive world marketplace, he said. &#42