24 May 1996

Survey reveals SW farmers views

ONLY two-thirds of Devon and Cornwall farmers made a profit last year, according to a Liberal Democrat survey. Nearly 20% of the 430 respondents said they had broken even and 16% reported a loss.

More than 40% relied on non-farm income to survive. That included icecream making, riding stables, cream teas, working for other farmers, furniture removals, plumbing, horse-drawn tours, and fostering children.

The survey also questioned farmers views on sheep dips although only 46% of the farms included in the survey kept sheep. While 84% of farmers wanted OP sheep dips withdrawn in favour of injectables or pour-ons, 13% opposed their withdrawal.

Only 6% of respondents had passed the certificate of competence. Nearly a third thought certification was an effective way to protect users from OPs but 70% did not agree with them. The survey also revealed that 87% of farmers wanted sheep scab made notifiable.