Montgomeryshire farmers raise concerns about future of industry with First Minister

Farmers from Montgomeryshire have raised concerns about the future of the industry in light of the proposals made in the Welsh Government's ‘Brexit and our Land’ consultation with First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Hosting the meeting at their farm Llwyn y Brain, Adfa, Newtown, were FUW members John and Sarah Yeomans. The Yeomans family run a herd of 73 cows consisting of pedigree Limousin, Limousin x, Belgian Blue x, and 15 homebred replacement heifers (closed herd). They further keep 495 ewes which are mainly Beulah and 160 Beulah ewe lambs and the flock has been closed since 1981. The couple sell Beulah draft ewes and some yearlings, as well as Welsh Mule ewe lambs for breeding and sell finished lambs on a deadweight basis.

The 232 acres of owned farmland sit between 750 feet to 1420 above sea level, with 100 acres (34.8ha) of lower land and 132 acres (53.4ha) of largely improved hill land.  A further 53 acres of additional land is rented.

Speaking at the meeting, John Yeomans said: “Farmers across Wales will naturally be concerned about some of the proposals within the current consultation and the uncertainty created by this, coupled with the uncertainty of future trade deals, it makes it all very difficult for anyone to forward plan. I would urge the Welsh Government to slow down and ensure that they have done the right impact assessments and modelling for the whole of Wales before bringing any new schemes to life.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones further heard concerns that lowland tenant farmers have, as FUW Montgomeryshire county President Bryan Jones said: “Of course we understand that things have got to change but it is important to remember that those who are farming on tenant holdings may not be able to implement aspects of agri-environmental schemes either because their landlord won’t allow it or because their tenancies are simply not long enough to complete the work or enter into such a binding contract. Those things need to be taken into consideration in any new scheme.”

Aled Roberts, the county chairman, added: “Scotland intends to keep direct farm payments, as does every country in the EU, Welsh farmers will be placed at a disadvantage if funding for them is not equally supportive. There are some complex issues left to resolve and I hope for the sake of every family farm in Wales that the Welsh Government do all they can to make it possible for those farms not to just survive but to thrive.”