This Week in Farming: This harvest, next harvest and LMFAOs

Welcome to This Week in Farming, your regular round-up of the hottest topics from Farmers Weekly.

Here are five themes that have been at the top of my agenda this week, as well as a look ahead to what’s coming up in the next edition of the Farmers Weekly podcast.

Harvest kicks off

Whisper it, but cereals harvest is underway – just about.

Winter barley crops in the earliest parts of the country have been disappearing into a combine, but the showery weather has held back the momentum from building rapidly.

Even as the grease gun gets deployed around the country for this year’s harvest, thoughts have turned to what to plant next year.

Seed Special

Which is why we’ve turned this week’s Arable section over to the topic – as growers look to find the right balance between old faithful varieties that might be getting dirty and fresh ones that are untested in local conditions.

Here’s all the content from our Seed Special:

Milk markets plateau

After months of price cuts, there are finally signs that milk markets may be stabilising as Arla announced it was holding prices at current levels for July.

In my editorial this week, I muse on why farmers are so often caught in a post-expansion trap and unable to respond to price cuts with reduced output.

Of course, reducing output isn’t the only way to improve margin – there’s other ways to cut costs as well.

This week, we also have an article on how to find new ways to motivate staff to tackle mastitis. Which of the five employee types do you have in your business?


It’s fair to say that Emily Norton has had a lively reception to her debut column about LMFAOs – Loud Male Farmers Aged Over-65.

It’s been revealing how the majority of folk on social media have found what she wrote relatable, despite not all farmers over 65 falling into this category (as she made clear).

Not everyone approved though – as readers of our magazine’s letters page this week will note.

Inheritance tax – is change coming?

Protection from inheritance tax – via agricultural property relief and business property relief – is one of the central parts of succession planning.

It shapes many long-term decisions farmers take, meaning people sit up and take notice whenever tinkering with it is mooted.

That’s exactly what’s in the offing at the moment as the government mulls how to reform the vital measure so it doesn’t act to disincentivise business owners from participating in green schemes.

Stay up to date with how farming lobby groups have responded to the consultation on the topic and what the arguments on both sides exactly are.

FW podcast

Coming up in this week’s edition of the Farmers Weekly podcast: Johann and Hugh bring you the very latest on Harvest 2023 and investigate why the supply of livestock vaccines has been so disrupted.

Listen here or bring us with you in the cab by downloading it from your usual podcast platform.

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