New market for UK lamb another step in the right direction

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently confirmed that the amended ‘small ruminant rule’ will come into force on 3rd January 2022 which will allow UK lamb to enter the US market after decades of restrictions.

It is predicted that this will supply a market of more than 300 million people and be worth £37 million over the first five years (£7.4 million per year) for the UK industry. According to Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) market research, it could include “a significant demand for high-quality lamb cuts.”

During the first nine months of 2021 alone, the UK exported a total of £303 million worth of lamb, £288 million (95 percent) of which was to the European Union (EU).

Given the statistics, the FUW has long maintained the importance of frictionless free trade between the UK and EU for agricultural commodity markets, and highlighted the same point in response to the opening up of the Japanese market for UK producers in January 2019 which was predicted to be worth £52 million for lamb over five years (£10.4 million per year).

News in brief December 2021

i) UK Government refuses Welsh impact assessment of Australia trade deal

In response to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s report on the impact of the UK - Australia trade deal for Wales, the UK Government has confirmed that the draft text will be shared with the devolved Governments.

However, the UK Government rejected the Committee’s recommendation that the Department for International Trade publish a Wales-specific impact assessment on the grounds that it is already provided in the UK-wide assessment.

ii) CEBR predicts rising prices in Supermarkets this Christmas

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has warned of a more expensive Christmas shop this year due to higher fuel and energy prices, supply issues and labour shortages.

Compared with December 2020, the typical UK family is predicted to spend £33.60 more per week due to inflation, however, many supermarkets are trying to absorb the increased costs over Christmas in order to retain customers.

iii) New HCC report analyses outlook for the UK sheep sector

A new report by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has revealed that the throughput of lambs from the 2021 crop is 12.7 percent lower than 2020 levels and 10.9 percent below 2019.

However, the report also predicts that the current prices - averaging around 20 percent above last year’s levels - may continue due to high retail demand. This is also helped by the fact that New Zealand lamb production is down by around 4 percent year on year.

Pembrokeshire dairy farmer recognised with special dairy award by FUW

Pembrokeshire dairy farmer, Dai Miles, who farms just outside of Haverfordwest has been selected as the winner of the 2021 Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) award for the person who has made an outstanding contribution to the Welsh Dairy industry.

The award recognises an individual who has made a great contribution and has become an integral part of the dairy industry in Wales. The judges were impressed with the contributions Mr Miles has made and continues to make to the dairy industry.

Dai Miles grew up in Felin Fach near Lampeter and attended Aberaeron Comprehensive school. Not from a farming family, Dai started his farming career by attending the Welsh Agricultural College in Aberystwyth where he received a National Diploma in Agriculture and completed a sandwich year at Godor Nantgaredig.

After college he spent five years as a herdsman of 160 cows at Waun Fawr, Glynarthen, Llandysul and then a further five years at IGER Trawscoed working as a relief herdsman between the two dairy herds, Lodge Farm and the organic herd at Ty Gwyn before taking the brave step to take a tenancy on his own.

Avian Influenza Update: Mandatory Housing of poultry and captive birds

As of Monday the 29th of November, the all Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (which has been in place since the 3rd of November) has been extended and it is now mandatory to house poultry and captive birds. These measures, alongside existing biosecurity rules, will help minimise the risk of Avian Influenza spreading from wild birds to kept birds:

  • House or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds
  • Cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control
  • Thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • Keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points
  • Minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Public health advice and food standards bodies advise that the risk to human health and food safety risk for UK consumers is very low.

If you are suspicious of Avian Influenza infection within your flock you should call the following Wales only line: 0300 303 8268.

Dead wild birds that are found should be reported via the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

For further information please visit: https://gov.wales/avian-influenza

Deadline to accept Glastir contract extensions extended

The FUW recently raised concerns with Rural Payments Wales (RPW) and during a meeting with Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths regarding the timing of issuing Glastir extensions contracts just prior to the Christmas period.

Due to the timing of the Programme Monitoring Committee meeting, the three week period which would follow for Glastir contract holders to accept their extensions would have come to an end on 31st December - during a time when RPW and Welsh Government offices operate at a reduced capacity meaning those wishing to query contracts may be unable to do so before the deadline.

It has since been announced that the deadline to accept contract extensions has been extended until the 31st January 2022.

Whilst existing contracts expire on 31st December 2021 and contract holders will have until 31st January 2022 to accept their new contract, it is important to note that contract holders will need to continue to abide by all the conditions of their current contract from 1 January 2022 if they intend to accept the contract extension.

First ‘All Wales Rural Survey’ aims to gather information on rural crime

The first ‘All Wales Rural Survey’ by Aberystwyth University and the Police Co-ordinator is now open for people who live and/or work in rural communities to provide feedback on rural crime and police response.

It provides an opportunity to suggest what can be improved when it comes to the response and strategy towards tackling rural crime.

The survey is open until 31st December and can be accessed via the links below, with the hope to publish the results in Spring 2022.

Cymraeg: https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/astudiaeth-trosedd-wledig-cymru

English: https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/rural-crime-wales

DPJ Foundation free mental health awareness sessions

The DPJ Foundation, the FUW President’s Charity, is organising free, on-line, mental health awareness sessions for people who work in agriculture or are in roles that support the farming community.

The sessions are funded by the Welsh Government and are open for anyone working in farming, working with farmers or living in rural communities in Wales. You could be a farmer, from a farming family, or work for an organisation supporting farmers such as health, teaching, a statutory agency, a vet, a farm supplier, local business, livestock market, support agency or charity.

Sessions will talk about the main factors causing stress in agriculture and will help you to spot the signs of poor mental health, know how to open a conversation with someone who is struggling, understand the support that’s available and how to access it. They will also cover suicide prevention and some self-care tips, including how to improve your own resilience.

Sessions are three and a half hours long, delivered via Zoom or in a local community venue, with options for day or evening and in Welsh or English.

Next dates available for training in 2021 are:

  • 12th January via Zoom
  • 20th January in person at a community venue in the Wrexham Area
  • 9th February via Zoom

Sessions can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-dpj-foundation-32983967795

For further information, contact Kay Helyar at the DPJ Foundation via Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld. or 07984169507.

Farmers reminded of responsibilities around fertiliser storage, sales, and purchase

The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) and AIC Services, which manages the Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme (FIAS) is reminding farmers of their responsibilities to store fertiliser safely and securely, in light of the rising cost of nitrogen-based fertiliser and potential excess stock on farms.

As high global gas prices push up the cost of nitrogen-based fertilisers, some farmers are facing difficult decisions about crop feeding plans this winter and next spring. This is of particular concern where farmers don’t have sufficient stock or orders in the pipeline to cover their needs, since the disruption to the fertiliser supply chain could continue into spring 2022.

Another area of concern is the rising value of existing stocks of nitrogen-based fertilisers on farms which could lead to increased thefts.

There is a risk of nitrogen-based fertilisers being used for illegitimate purposes, and anyone handling or storing these products has a responsibility to provide secure storage and to remain vigilant to potential theft.

Farmers can make best use of their available stocks of fertiliser by seeking advice from a FACTS qualified adviser.

Incoming changes to use of red diesel from April 2022

The UK Government has announced plans to introduce legislative changes through the Finance Bill 2021 to restrict the use of red diesel and rebated biofuels from April 2022 to help meet its climate change and clean air targets.

The use of red diesel will continue to be permitted for agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry, including cutting verges and hedges, clearing snow and gritting roads. The full list of qualifying purposes can be found on the UK Government website here.

However, the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has warned farmers who use equipment for non-agricultural work, including construction, not to be caught out by the new rules.

The NAAC is also seeking clarity on how to effectively remove all traces of red diesel from tanks and filters to ensure compliance. If a vehicle is taxed for agricultural use, there shouldn’t be a need to question whether it is fuelled with red or white diesel.

Given that the price of white diesel is around double the price of red, these changes will inevitably price those farmers who undertake non-agricultural work out of such markets.

'Listen to us. Support us.': the need to ensure access for young people to mental health support

Rhun ap Iowerth is carrying out a survey to learn about the experience that people in Wales are having when it comes to talking about mental health.

All personal information will be kept confidential. The survey results will be shared with the Welsh Government to identify what young people need in terms of mental health support and to encourage an easier, more straightforward and simpler system to ensure people know where to find help and advice on mental health.

The survey can be completed here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepBnWqKYiGc6tkSb4zTIEHTj4V6A0CEgrsMJIr3t7EX8YcPw/viewform

Expression of interest window dates December 2021

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Farming Connect What’s On

As a result of the pandemic, Farming Connect has taken the decision to postpone all open events and one-to-many events until further notice. They are conducting a number of activities digitally or over the phone where possible.

More information can be found here:
https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/whats-on

 
Farming Connect ICT Programme  Farming Connect is now offering ICT training courses for beginners and intermediate learners.

One-to-one sessions and online workshops are also available on integrating ICT technology into your farm business

To book, please contact Lantra on 01982 552646 or Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

Further information can be found here.
 

Farming Connect Training Application Window

The next Farming Connect training application window will open on Monday, 3rd January at 9.00am and close on Friday, 28th January 2022 at 17.00.

  • All training courses subsidised by up to 80% for registered individuals
  • More than 70 courses available, categorised under ‘Business’, ‘Land’ and ‘Livestock’
  • Network of approved training providers located throughout Wales

For the full list of courses and/or support on how to apply, contact the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813.

The Farming Connect Training Booklet can be found here.

3rd January - 28th January 2022