By FWi staff

HOPES that an agricultural recovery is on the way were reflected in NatWests Farmer Forecaster of the Year competition at Smithfield.

An early sample of entry forms, which ask showgoers to predict the state of the industry in the autumn, pitches finished beef, lambs and pigs at 90p, 85p and 60p/kg/lw, respectively. This compares with the competitions base point, September 1997, where the actual figures were 76p, 71p and 42p/kg.

The feeling is that oilseed rape, milling wheat and feed barley will be changing hands at £150, £92 and £77/t in September, compared with 1997 levels of £150, £89 and £71/t.

“Farmers are optimistic, but not letting themselves get too optimistic,” said competition organiser, David Hughston, on Wednesday (02 December).