Farmer Focus: Farming seems to be sink or swim from here on

A very happy new year to you all. I do hope that you are all hanging on in there with your new year’s resolutions, or have you given up on that sort of thing (like me)?

Via a resolution or not, the start of any year is always a great time for planning. What will this year bring, how will our fortunes pan out? 

We start this year with a few more certainties than the last. Policy around the Agriculture Act has been set and the Environment Act is now law, so the legality of the future seems set.

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Andrew Blenkiron
Arable Farmer Focus writer
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Personally, it seems to be sink or swim from here on – survival of the fittest and all of that.

Or will there be a rapid change of direction when there is a realisation that things have gone too far? When our productive base has eroded to such an extent that food supply is vulnerable and food price inflation is well into double digits.

As always, political interference distorts the marketplace – at least this time it is clearer what is supposed to happen. I do hope that everyone is ready for the consequences. 

See also: Expert pointers on which spring cereal crop to grow in 2022

Interestingly, futures commodity prices show quite significant reductions in raw materials associated with our input costs next year.

They also indicate reductions in prices for produce that we have to sell, where the balance between the two lies will have a significant effect on profitability in the year to come.

There is still time to attend one of the many conferences to hear what the experts think about this. Although, we may have to attend these in our lonely, virtual worlds.

The first Sunday after Epiphany is plough Sunday and this year it’s 9 January. I do hope church services can take place around the country.

Given that I can’t actually get the Fendt and six-furrow plough into Bury St Edmunds Cathedral, we might just have to have a socially distanced, cold service outside.

Do you think I should mention there is a movement that would have all ploughs scrapped as we revert to the Middle Ages…?

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