The Royal Welsh Show has broken its record for the number of livestock entries.
Speaking on the opening day of the show, chairman of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society council Alun Evans said that numbers had swelled to 8000.
“There are more than 3500 horses, 3500 sheep and 1000 cattle,” he told Farmers Weekly.
“It’s been growing all the while and we’ve benefited from the fact there is no Royal Show.”
In his address on a bright and warm day at the showground at Builth Wells, Lord Elystan Morgan was upbeat about the industry’s prospects, but said there was a “massive broader challenge”.
“The population of the world will increase by 1.5bn in the next 20 years and the demand for food will increase by 50%.”
However, he noted there was evidence of falling incomes in rural Wales, with milk production on the wane and decreasing cattle and sheep numbers. And, in a thinly veiled appeal to the Welsh Assembly government ahead of its report into CAP reform being announced on Tuesday, he added: “Every policy or action that strengthens the family farm is to be applauded.”
The show was also attended by the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan who also acknowledged the difficulties facing the Welsh agriculture sector.
“The key issues are farm incomes, maintaining young people in farming and the localised issue of the badger cull,” she told Farmers Weekly.