15 June 2001

Varying value of £ a mixed blessing?

Currency fluctuations could prove to be a mixed blessing for UK farmers. The £s slide against the $ is likely to increase feed costs, but further falls against the k will lead to better arable area payments…………………………..p22

Milk output falls, but…

Milk output is down again. However, one expert believes producers could be looking forward to a good winter – quota is cheap, low supplies might boost prices and product prices are firming…………………….p24

Hostility to k a puzzle

Two-thirds of farmers are against the k, even though it could help boost profits, a survey reveals. Poor product prices and red tape were blamed by many for making business very stressful……..p25

Abattoir aims high

A new producer-owned abattoir in Cumbria will help stockmen get a better return for their animals, claim the two local producers behind the scheme. Cutting out the middlemen should lift profits….p26

Eire marts to re-open

Live auction markets will be up and running again in Eire this Monday. Dutch marts have also been given the all clear but remain shut in protest at the imposition of stringent conditions………..p27

Semen export action

Livestock breeders need to take a positive stance to regain lost semen exports, says the head of a new genetics business. The firm will be lobbying the government to pressure countries who have banned UK product………………….. p31

Seizure compensation

FARMERS will be fully reimbursed for all items seized or destroyed by MAFF or its successor, the Department for Environ-ment, Food and Rural Affairs, as a result of foot-and-mouth disease.

After much representation by the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, this was confirmed in a letter from MAFF to Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to CAAV.

Compensation could include items ranging from buildings and feed to medicines and sheepdogs.

The department has established a specific claims unit for this purpose in London, to which full details of such claims – and any supporting evidence – can be sent.

MAFF also told CAAV that any farmer who objected to damage being caused by cleaning and disinfecting buildings could ask for it to be stopped. It also accepted that it did not have the powers to compel farms to undertake their own repairs to damage caused in the process of disease control.

"All these issues have raised problems with which we have had to grapple, advise on and raise with ministers," said Mr Moody. &#42