Hill farmers in peril, warns NFU
THE National Farmers Union (NFU) will publish the results of a survey which indicates hill farming has a precarious future. It fears an extra £60 million last year to help hill beef farmers cope with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis will be removed this year.
The NFU launches its annual campaign to improve Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances today.
The Financial Times illustrates hill farmers plight with the case of Eric and Marian Harrison who scrape a living from 2,000 Herdwick sheep, in Copeland, the constituency of agriculture minister Dr Jack Cunningham.
The couple said that, even with UK and Brussels aid, they would have made no profit last year without the help of £40,000 in grants for maintaining their 3,000 acres (1,214.1ha) under the Governments voluntary scheme for “environmentally sensitive areas”.
The European Commission is proposing capping subsidies to help smaller, more marginal producers.