Cornish farmers band together

Four farmers in Cornwall are hoping to use more than £200,000 of European and DEFRA grant funding to develop their businessess after the mid-term review.

The group, which farms on the edge of Bodmin Moor, has secured just over £100,000 from Objective One and the same from DEFRA to invest in new machinery for its livestock enterprises.

Members will fund the remaining 60% of the project cost.

Ian Scott, of Trecorner Farm, near Launceston, headed the initiative and has been sharing machinery with nearby farmer Richard Parnell for over 20 years.

“I’ve expanded my business in recent years and our joint machinery renewal policy has had to take a bit of a back seat.”

They have now joined together with Peter Risdon and Sam Colwill to form the Bodmin Moor Beef Power machinery partnership.

By combining to buy larger equipment, including tractors, a forage harvester, feeder and muckspreader, the group would enjoy significant economies of scale, said Mr Scott.

Together with improved carcass quality through feeding a total mixed ration, the group could be up to £46,000 a year better off. 

The project will cover 631ha (1558 acres), with 1355 head of cattle and 1000 sheep. It will also create new jobs for a part-time administrator and full-time tractor driver.