Junior DEFRA minister Lord Rooker has indicated that he believes that the next generation of farmers is being held back by producers who refuse to retire.

Speaking at Sheep 2006 in Malvern on Wednesday (2 Aug), he said:

“There are too many older farmers hanging on for too long… They are blocking farms and stopping the release of land to the younger generation who want to come into the industry.”

But the minister said the government had no plans to introduce retirement or new entrants schemes and did not have the cash to pay for them.

  • The true cost of the debacle surrounding the delivery of the Single Farm Payment became apparent this week. It has emerged that DEFRA is being forced to slash its budget by nearly £200m over the next six months in search of savings. The cuts are likely to be borne in large part by the Environment Agency.

For more details see www.fwi.co.uk