Farmer Focus: Andrew Hunter has keen eye on finances

The financial situation continues to be the main focus of our attention, with the renegotiation/imposition of new terms for our borrowing.

The margin over base rate has nearly tripled an extra burden at an already very difficult time.

This came two days after the dairy company kindly informed me that it would be dropping the milk price by a further 2p/litre, and if we didn’t like it they would terminate the contract.

We have continued with the grain maize harvest, which has been pretty good in Hungary, with yields of 7-10t/ha.

Serbia has been disappointing due to a late invasion of grassweeds after the wet summer.

The potato market is depressed and prices are struggling to move up. We’ve still not managed to start packing in our new facility, as we’re having to wait for modifications to the new washer.

I hope it will all be completed next week and then we can start using the facility.

We’re still struggling to get all the paperwork for the new building, mainly due to fire protection laws changing between us getting planning permission and completing it.

We’re having similar problems in Serbia with the new grain drier.

The gas board switched off the mains because we used the manufacturers to build the drier, not people who are qualified to build grain driers in Serbia.

All cultivations are up to date apart from a bit of ploughing for potatoes and some cultivations after the unfinished grain maize harvest.

The big question for us now is just when will the Hungarian government pay the money that is owed to us.

This is a huge part of our income and would help alleviate the situation with our creditors.

I hope we can look forward to a more prosperous new year.


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