Farmer Focus: Concerned over EU referendum

In my last article lambing and calving was in full swing.

I’m pleased to report that we’ve now finished and both have gone extremely well. We calved 130 cows and now have 130 calves on the ground.

All we need now is some warm weather to get the grass growing. 

I’m also pleased the Conservatives got back into power for a second term. It is a great result for agriculture and the rural economy.

My only concern is the outcome of the pending EU referendum.

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers 

I believe it is fundamental we remain in Europe. While everyone gets frustrated with the level of red tape imposed on us from the EU, there are lots of benefits to being a member.
As a sheep farmer I’m particularly worried about how it will affect our sheep meat exports. Currently one third of our lamb is exported to France. 

What will happen if we leave the EU? And it goes without saying that many farm businesses would struggle to survive without the same level as support as we currently receive.
Despite being concerned that I wouldn’t be able to complete the cycle ride due to my lack of training, I’m happy to say that I finished the last leg of the tour from Abergavenny to Lands End last week – much to the astonishment of my wife Catherine who has been training like crazy.
Being “farmer fit” must have its advantages. Although I must admit I’m feeling shattered!
I must take my hat off to the seven main cyclists who rode more than 1,000 miles from John O’ Groats to Lands End and endured injuries, sickness and were battered by severe wind and rain the first few days.

As I put pen to paper we’ve hit our £20,000 target, raising £20,497. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.

If you haven’t there is still time. Just visit
By the time you read this I’ll be on my brother-in-law Nick’s stag in Porta Benus. Sadly, I don’t think lambing and calving will have prepared me quite as well for this and I fear I may be paying for it for a week afterwards.

James Evans farms 300 Stabiliser suckler cows and 1,110 Llen cross ewes across two units, totalling 825ha, in Shropshire. He was 2012 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year