“A Gwd Thing” comes to Maenclochog for charity

Pembrokeshire farmers are looking forward to baler twine, flat cap, rigger boots and a moustache, as the Welsh Whisperer is coming to Maenclochog for a special charity fundraising concert. 

The man who is busy making a name for himself as a performer, radio presenter and popular television personality is teaming up with the Farmers’ Union of Wales Pembrokeshire branch to raise money for two amazing local charities, The DPJ Foundation and Farms For City Children in St David’s.

Those joining the evening, which starts at 7.30pm on Friday 11 October at Maenclochog Community Hall, can look forward to well known belters such as Loris Mansel Davies, Bois y JCB, Bois y Loris, Classifieds y Farmers Guardian and Ni’n Belo Nawr.

FUW Pembrokeshire CEO Rebecca Voyle said: “We are very excited to host this special fundraising event for our local charities. It promises to be a fun evening of music and no doubt a bit of flat out dancing and I hope many of you can join us.”

Tickets are £15 each and include a two course meal, which must be purchased in advance.

To book your ticket or to find out more please contact the county office on 01437 762 913 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Anglesey farming family raise beefy concerns with local MP

A farming family from Anglesey has raised concerns about the beef sector and livestock farming with local MP Albert Owen, highlighting that more needs to be done to protect family farms in these uncertain times.

Ioan Roberts and his wife Helen, who farm at Tryfil Isaf, Llanerchymedd,  opened the gates to their 150 acre farm which has been in the family since the 1870s and is home to a 120 head herd of Welsh Black Cattle.

Ioan gave up his job as a Secondary School teacher 14 years ago to concentrate on the farm and discovered that no other breeds coped with the local climate as well the Welsh Black cattle.

And whilst his enthusiasm for the industry knows no bounds, he is worried about the future of not just his own farm business, but the future of the red meat sector. 

He said: “We tried other breeds of cattle here on the farm but the Welsh Blacks are what works best for us. They are Wales' only native breed of cattle and provide high quality meat - which I can only describe as the best. 

“Sadly the price of beef is not as good as it should be and I feel more needs to be done to promote this wonderful product as a premium product. In my mind it certainly deserves to be up there with PGI Welsh Lamb. 

“In these uncertain times, we must do better to promote our great Welsh food to consumers here at home but we also need the UK Government to ensure that we have an export market in just a few weeks time. Otherwise, what’s the point in keeping this going? 

“Without being a dooms-day thinker, there are some very real challenges ahead for our sector, and we can’t overcome them all by ourselves. As farmers we are prepared to do all it takes to run our business efficiently, to produce food that is of the highest standard. And if we want to continue seeing native breeds like our Welsh Blacks on the land and enjoy such glorious food - more needs to be done.”

Union officials also used the opportunity to reinforce industry concerns about a no-deal Brexit. 

Details of HMG response to Yellowhammer report should also be published says FUW

Details of UK Government actions taken in response to the dangers highlighted in the Yellowhammer Report should also be published, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said.

‘Operation Yellowhammer - HMG Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions’ was published on September 11 following a vote on Monday (September 9) in the House of Commons. The six-page report summarises the broad range of dangers that would or could accompany a no-deal Brexit, including civil unrest, road blockages, human and veterinary medicine shortages, food shortages and smuggling.

Denbigh & Flint meeting cancelled - Sustainable Farming & Our Land consultation

Due to unforeseen circumstances our Sustainable Farming & Our Land consultation meeting for Denbigh and Flint on Monday 16 September has been postponed until further notice.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused, we will rearrange shortly. 

Oherwydd amgylchiadau annisgwyl, mae ein cyfarfod ymgynghori Ffermio Cynaliadwy a'n Tir ar gyfer Dinbych a Fflint, dydd Llun 16 Medi wedi'i ohirio hyd nes y clywir yn wahanol. Ymddiheuriadau am unrhyw anghyfleustra a achosir, byddwn yn aildrefnu cyn bo hir.

“Don’t become a statistic - please seek help” FUW urges farmers

Agriculture carries the highest rate of suicide above any other occupation and that’s why ahead of World Suicide Prevention day (Tuesday 10 September), the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging those going through a tough time to seek help. 

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Poor mental health is an issue that affects the farming community greatly and it is well known that loneliness and social isolation can lead to mental health problems.

“The FUW understands that failing to deal with poor mental wellbeing could have serious consequences and lead to the farm running inefficiently, a serious injury, relationship breakdowns, poor physical health and even worse, it could lead to suicide.” 

Mr Roberts added that everyone can make a contribution in preventing suicide and believes that it is by joining together, those suffering can be better supported. 

Cash boost for Scotland is political game playing - FUW says

The announcement that Scottish farmers will benefit from £160 million as a top up payment from the UK Government, as well as a £51.4m boost in convergence funding, has been slammed as political game playing by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

FUW President Glyn Roberts responded saying: “There can be absolutely no doubt that direct support, which underpins safe, top-quality food production, must be maintained to avoid causing irreparable damage to Wales and of course the UK as a whole. 

“As such, we welcomed the decision to set up a review of allocations based on environmental, agricultural and socio-economic factors, and the top up of £5.2 million for Wales means that as such our budget will be maintained until 2022. 

“However, the FUW has long argued that funding needs to be allocated fairly and giving Scotland an extra £160 million, could cause market distortion on an unprecedented scale and is extremely unfair on Welsh farmers.”

The Union President further pointed out that in 2017 Scottish farm businesses received an average Pillar 1 payment of £23,971, which was more than 30% higher than the UK average of £18,306, and 65% higher than the Welsh average of £14,568.(figures based on data downloaded from http://cap-payments.defra.gov.uk).

“As such, this reallocation of funding is likely to exacerbate differences between farm businesses in different nations which must compete in the same marketplace. Funding allocations like this must not be a precedent for future,” said Glyn Roberts.

Usk Show to put focus on #farmingmatters

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy, #farmingmatters focused Usk show, on Saturday 14 September, which is being held at the 100 acre Usk Showground near the village of Gwernesney just outside Usk.

The event, which has been held on the second Saturday in September since 1844, celebrates the very best of Monmouthshire farming and rural life.

FUW Gwent County Executive Officer Glyn Davies said: “We are really looking forward to Usk show - it is a time to show the quality of produce, a time to meet and catch up with old friends and a time to demonstrate the value of agriculture to a wider audience.

“I have no doubt that we will see many people with little or no background in agriculture who are increasingly interested in food, food production, quality produce and buying locally here at the show. 

“We extend a warm welcome to them and our members to join us for a cup of tea and plenty of #farmingmatters chats. 

Withdrawing Article 50 must be an option in Brexit calamity

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has renewed calls for Article 50 to be revoked to allow the UK to ‘take back control’ and deliver a smooth Brexit that does not threaten millions of livelihoods.

Following meetings with MPs and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns in London (Tuesday, 3 September), FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We had very constructive discussions about the contingency planning required to support farmers and farming communities in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU next month. 

“But we also stressed that other options, must be considered if we are to safeguard the future of our family farms and the rural economy in Wales.

“Those who are enthusiastic about Brexit should also be realistic about the dangers of getting it wrong, and the need for an orderly withdrawal over a realistic timescale.

“The damage being done by the current strategy to businesses, our economy, our international reputation and our political parties is clear for everyone to see.”

Mr Roberts said that revoking Article 50 - a policy first agreed at an emergency meeting of the Union’s presidential team and committee chairs in mid January - must be considered as it is the only option which would take back control over the process and return us to a situation where a smooth and orderly Brexit was possible.

FUW hosts consultation events on Welsh Government Sustainable Farming Scheme plans

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is holding meetings for members and other interested parties across Wales to discuss the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation.

The consultation, launched by Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths in July, outlines proposals for future farm and rural support which have been revised in light of the comments received in response to the 2018 Brexit and our Land consultation.

It proposes that future support should be designed around the principle of sustainability in a way which brings together the ‘wide-ranging and significant economic, environmental and social contribution or farmers’, through a single Sustainable Farming Scheme based on the principles of providing a meaningful and stable income stream; rewarding outcomes in a fair way; paying for both new and existing sustainable practices; and flexibility allowing it apply to every type of farm.

Farmers’ Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts said: “We welcome the fact that the consultation document acknowledges many of the concerns raised by respondents to last years Brexit and our Land consultation, and focuses on farmers and food producers.

“Concerns highlighted by the FUW last year about the dangers of setting a fixed timetable and ploughing ahead with proposals at a time of complete uncertainty over Brexit and its impacts, and undertaking detailed modelling and economic assessments of proposals before coming to any decision, also appear to have been taken on board.”

Mr Roberts said that this acknowledgement and the consultative tone of the document would help to discuss the proposals with the industry and urges farmers to join the FUW at it’s consultation meetings.

Be mindful of grass burning regs to avoid fines - FUW reminds farmers

Farmers are being reminded to follow the Heather and Grass Burning Code to avoid damage to the environment, hefty fines and cross compliance penalties. 

The burning of heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse and Vaccinium (bilberry) is only allowed between 1 October - 31 March in upland areas (land in the Severely Disadvantaged Area of the Less Favoured Area) and 1 November - 15 March elsewhere.

It is possible to carry out controlled burns at other times but only under a licence that may be obtained in very specific circumstances.

FUW Vice President Ian Rickman said: “It is really important that farmers remember that if they don’t comply with the Burning Regulations, they are breaking the law and may face a fine up to £1,000. They could also be looking at penalties under cross compliance rules.” 

The Heather and Grass Burning Code asks farmers to prepare thoroughly before any burning is undertaken as well as plan and consult well in advance of the burning season. 

Those planning a controlled burn need to contact the local Fire and Rescue Service, consult and co-operate with neighbours, especially woodland owners, to establish or confirm a burning programme for the year and those on common land are advised to consult fellow Commoners and the local Commoners’ Association if there is one. 

Sheep industry must not be sacrificial lamb FUW warns

As September kicks off with the ever more popular ‘Love Lamb Week’ , the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging the UK Government to ensure that the sheep industry doesn’t end up being the sacrificial lamb because of failed negotiations with the European Union.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We have said it many times before - our lamb is of the finest quality and those who have tasted it will, I am sure, agree that it stands out as a premium product. 

“However, producing a premium product is of no use if we have no market to sell it to and tariffs make it uneconomical to pursue such food production.

“Three years on from the EU referendum and one of the most complex issues we still face in light of our exit are the trade negotiations. 

“We know that if we don’t have an export market after 31 October, then we will have too much lamb for our own market - even if all imports were banned.” 

Meirionnydd farmers fear for future of industry

Farmers from Meirionnydd have told local politicians of their fears for the future of the industry when they met at the local county show in Harlech (Wednesday, 28 August).

Welcoming Dafydd Elis Thomas AM, Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM and Liz Saville Roberts MP to the marquee at the busy event, Union official and members discussed on farm policy and funding post Brexit, as well as many other farming matters.

FUW Meirionnydd County Chairman Sion Ifans said: “We discussed many #FarmingMatters at the stand with our members and elected politicians and our key messages to decision makers were clear. 

“A no-deal Brexit will spell disaster for the farming industry in Wales and we stressed that point again here at the county show. No responsible UK Government would allow the UK to leave the EU without a deal and as we have a Prime Minister who is turbo charging preparations for a no-deal Brexit, there remains a lot of work to be done.

Meirionnydd county show a #farmingmatters success once again

The Meirionnydd branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales enjoyed a busy day at the County Show (Wednesday, 28 August), which was held at Harlech, with Union officials, staff, and FUW Insurance Services Ltd. on hand to answer any questions members had. 

The stand was a hive of activity with representatives from RABI, FWAG Cymru, Farming Connect, Gamlins Solicitors LLP and North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, together with Rob Taylor and members of the Rural Crime Team on hand to offer advice and guidance on a plethora of current issues affecting the farming community.

FUW Meirionnydd County Chairman Sion Ifans said: “We enjoyed a busy county show at Harlech and I must thank the staff and everyone who joined us for making it such a roaring success once again. A special thank you goes to our members and friends of the FUW in the Dinas Mawddwy, Dolgellau and Trawsfynydd areas for taking responsibility for the refreshments on the stand.”

On the day, the FUW further drew attention to the work of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership (WFSP), welcoming recently appointed ‘ambassadors’ Alun Edwards, prominent local FUW member and well known TV presenter and Betws Y Coed farmer Beca Glyn, who gave a talk on her personal experience following a quad bike accident in February last year. 

Extra funding for North Wales Rural Crime Team excellent news

 

The announcement by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones at Meirionnydd county show (Wednesday, 28 August), that three extra police constables will be added to the North Wales Rural Crime Team has been hailed as excellent news by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

The three new crime fighters will join the team of four PCs and three Police Community Support Officers headed by team manager Rob Taylor, bringing its numbers up to 11 officers.

Responding to the announcement, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Every year rural crime costs millions of pounds and causes untold anxiety to farmers and rural businesses. North Wales police have been leading the way in making sure that rural crime is less attractive for those up to no good. 

“The fact that their rural crime team will now double in size, due to increased funding, is excellent news. Other police forces across Wales should take note of their approach in supporting the rural community and we can only commend the Police and Crime Commissioner for his efforts and determination to make North Wales a safer place for us all.”

FUW Meirionnydd County Chairman Sion Ifans added: “We have a very good working relationship with North Wales Police force and can count ourselves lucky that because of their efforts, we have seen a reduction in rural crime here compared to other parts of the country. 

Monmouthshire farmers discuss #FarmingMatters with local AM

Monmouthshire farming couple, Guy and Cath Parry of Pentre Farm, Llansoy, Usk, have discussed the most critical #farmingmatters including Brexit, environmental issues, future farm policy and the rural economy, with Mohammad Asghar, Conservative Regional AM for S.E Wales.

During a farm visit, the family showed Mr Asghar around the typical Monmouthshire grass farm on which the main enterprise is the fattening of store cattle and lambs.

Guy and Cath hope that their children might take over the farm business one day, but Guy said: “We are very concerned about the future of our own farm and also the future of the industry in general. With everything that’s going on such as, substantial changes to farm policy, uncertainty over direct support and export markets, new burdensome and draconian environmental regulations, it doesn’t bode well. 

“It certainly doesn’t make the industry look very attractive as a career option for our children and if the next generation don’t take farming and food production up - who will?”

With regard to the environment Guy emphasised that farmers already work hand in hand with nature, saying:“Farmers do so much for the wider rural economy, the environment, food security and tourism, yet the support and recognition we get for the work is as low as it can get. We have undertaken significant environmental work, which has been taken for granted by Government.

“It is very important that the public and politicians understand the implications if farming gets a bad deal after we leave the EU and what is likely to happen to food security, our rural economy and way of life here in Wales.”

Innovative pony venture recognised with FUW Business award

When Lucy Lewis, a primary school teacher from Pembrokeshire, decided to convert an old potato chitting greenhouse into a stable block for 7 horses in 2014, it looked like a bumpy ride ahead. 

The idea first came when she was out riding with a friend on a cold winters morning and after mulling the idea over, the decision was made to give up teaching in the classroom and take it outside. 

Lucy said: “Dad always said to me don’t make horses your work and so I became a primary school teacher. And I really enjoyed spending time with the children in the classroom but at the same time I was looking after the horses and helping out on the farm. It was getting a bit much and I knew something had to give.

“I still wanted to teach and spend time with the children. So by having children’s riding ponies at the yard I was able to create a flexible business around our family farm life, whilst meeting the needs of the community.  

“We have made some great friends and are so delighted with the way our riders have embraced life at the stables; treating the ponies with great affection and understanding how the yard runs.”

But it wasn’t an easy start and the initial idea for a livery at St Brides Bay Stables, Pearson Farm, St Brides, Haverfordwest, had to go through a rethink. 

FUW seeks nominations for outstanding dairy person

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is once again looking to recognise an individual who has made a great contribution towards the development of the dairy industry and has become an integral part of the dairy industry in Wales.

To recognise such a person the Union is seeking nominations for its FUW Outstanding Service to the Welsh Dairy Industry award.

The winner will be announced, and the presentation made, at this year’s Welsh Dairy Show in Carmarthen on Tuesday, October 29.

FUW Carmarthenshire County Executive Officer David Waters said: “There are a number of very worthy individuals in Wales who deserve this award and looking back we have had some fantastic nominations and winners. So if you know of a person in Wales who has made a great contribution towards the development of the dairy industry and has become an integral part of it in Wales, then why not nominate them for this prestigious award?”

Do you know someone who has made an Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Carmarthenshire?

The Carmarthen branch of Farmers’ Union of Wales is seeking nominations for the 2019 FUW - United Counties Agriculture and Hunters Society Award for the person judged to have made the most Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Carmarthenshire during the past few years.

The judges will include representatives from the FUW, FUW Insurance Services Ltd and the United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society. The award will be presented at the FUW’s prestigious Eve of the Welsh Dairy Show event.

FUW Carmarthenshire County Executive Officer David Waters said: “The nomination should be in the form of a letter or citation giving full details of the work and achievement of the nominee with great emphasis on the positive or beneficial effect on agriculture in Carmarthenshire.”

Do you know someone who has made an Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Carmarthenshire?

The Carmarthen branch of Farmers’ Union of Wales is seeking nominations for the 2019 FUW - United Counties Agriculture and Hunters Society Award for the person judged to have made the most Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Carmarthenshire during the past few years.

The judges will include representatives from the FUW, FUW Insurance Services Ltd and the United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society. The award will be presented at the FUW’s prestigious Eve of the Welsh Dairy Show event.

FUW Carmarthenshire County Executive Officer David Waters said: “The nomination should be in the form of a letter or citation giving full details of the work and achievement of the nominee with great emphasis on the positive or beneficial effect on agriculture in Carmarthenshire.”

Farmers urged to attend health and safety event

Farmers in Denbighshire and Flintshire are being urged to attend a special health and safety event organised by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

The event, which will focus on cattle handling, ATV’s and First Aid, is held on Friday 6 September at Plas Bedw, Pentrecelyn, starting at 10am. 

This year’s figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that farming, forestry and fishing has just leap-frogged over the construction industry in the number of deaths whilst working.  

Agriculture and forestry come out worst, with a rate of injury some 18 times and 17 times as high as the average across all industries.

FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones said: “It’s time to take farm safety seriously - the latest death toll makes the industry the most dangerous in the UK. 32 people have lost their lives working on British farms over the last 12 months. It is not a record to be proud of. 

“The truth is that farming is a Farmers urged to attend health and safety event hazardous industry. We work with potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, at height or near pits and silos. And top of the list of dangers are farm vehicles, from ATVs to Land Rovers and telehandlers.

Cardigan mart closure another blow for industry

The announcement by J J Morris Auctioneers that Cardigan Animal Market will close next month, has been described as another blow for the industry by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

According to the auctioneer the final market will be held on Monday, 9 September. It is believed that the closure of Cardigan mart will not affect markets in Crymych and Whitland.

The reasons for closing the mart have been reported to include rising costs, reduced animals and TB outbreaks in the area.

FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas responded to the news saying: “This announcement comes just weeks after we heard that Cowbridge market is closing and can only be described as another blow for our industry. 

“The auctioneers have valid reasons for closing the site and it won’t have been an easy decision for them to make. 

#FarmingMatters take centre stage at Anglesey show

The Anglesey branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales enjoyed a busy two-day county show (Tuesday 13 August - Wednesday 14 August), with #FarmingMatters chats, children's competitions and plenty of entertainment keeping visitors to the stand entertained. 

Members raised specific farming matters with Rhun ap Iorwerth AM and Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM at an open surgery, with a strong focus on the current Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation.

Those concerned about rural crime stopped by for advice on how to keep their property and livestock safe, with ‘Quad Claw’ and Arfon Jones North Wales Police, Police and Crime Commissioner and the North Wales rural crime team on hand to help.  

Speaking after the event, FUW Vice President Eifion Huws said: “This year’s show was fantastic once again and I thank the organisers and everyone who joined us for making it such a success.

“Farming is facing an uncertain future for so many reasons and we raised some of our concerns with our politicians at the show. Because the UK Government is determined to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, deal or no deal, members feel that they haven’t got enough time to fully consider what is being proposed in the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation. 

Denbighshire & Flintshire farmers urge politicians - delay Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation deadline

Farmers from Denbighshire and Flintshire have raised concerns about the timing of the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation with politicians, including Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, at the local county show (Thursday 15 August).

FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones highlighted that the Farmers’ Union of Wales has raised concerns since early July regarding the clash between the response deadline (30 October) and the date on which the UK is due to leave the EU (31 October). 

She said: “The FUW has welcomed a Welsh Government commitment to keep the deadline under review, however, given the UK Government’s determination to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, deal or no deal, our members now believe it is imperative that the deadline be extended.”

Speaking at the show after a meeting with Mrs Griffiths, FUW Denbighshire county chairman Dylan Roberts said: "Members here in Denbighshire share the Welsh Government's concerns regarding the impacts of a no-deal Brexit and welcome the commitment to supporting agriculture.

Remember hedge cutting regulations FUW reminds farmers

Farmers are being urged to remember hedge cutting regulations to avoid a cross compliance penalty on their BPS payment.

FUW policy officer Bernard Griffiths said: “Most farmers will remember that they are not allowed to cut trees or hedges between 1 March to 31 August. If they don’t comply with the rules, they could face a hefty cross compliance penalty on their BPS payment which is avoidable.

“There are exceptions to the standard rule, but only if the conditions are met can farmers start cutting early. We therefore urge our members to make sure they don’t fall foul by accident.”

Only on arable land, where the normal agricultural practice requires that a winter arable crop is planted before 31 August, are farmers able to cut back the relevant hedges or trees from 1 August.

That exception only applies as long as nesting birds are not disturbed. 

“So before you start cutting the hedge you have to check thoroughly to ensure that you will not disturb any breeding or rearing bird,” added Mr Griffiths.

Funding support for farm businesses welcomed by FUW

News that the existing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment window of 2 December 2019 until 30 June 2020 will be maintained, and a BPS Loan Scheme for farmers who don’t receive their first payment on that date will be provided, has been welcomed by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

The loan for farmers who do not receive their BPS payment will be worth up to 90% of the claim value. However, while the support scheme will be available to all, it will only be paid to farm businesses who ‘opt-in’ to the scheme, and only if their BPS claim is not ready on the first day of the payment window. 

Responding to the announcement, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “This provides much needed certainty for our farmers who are increasingly concerned about cash flow in the upcoming months as we approach our exit from the European Union and the winter period.” 

Swansea farming couple raise environmental concerns with local AM

With just three months to go until the UK is expected to leave the European Union - with or without a deal - farmers across the country are getting increasingly concerned about their future as food producers.

But it’s not just Brexit that has them worried. Untimely changes to farming policies, which would make life on farm more difficult and introduce more burdensome regulations, also add to their woes.

Livestock farmers Cheryl and Jeff James of Cefn Eithin Farm, Clydach, Swansea, are concerned about the new agricultural pollution regulations due to be introduced in January 2020 as they will adversely affect their farm. 

The couple who farm suckler cattle and sheep over 345 acres of owned land, fear that unless the introduction of pan-Wales land management regulations are opposed, the impact on farm businesses like theirs would be significant.

Under the new regulations the James’ would not be able to spread slurry according to the weather and ground conditions and would be restricted by calendar dates stipulated in the closed period under the new regulations. This they say, will incur extra feed costs for the livestock as grass growth would be affected .

And when it comes to extra slurry storage to comply with yet more burdensome rules, the family feel they would not be able to justify or afford the investment for all the required storage equipment on the farm.

“What this means for us is that rearing suckler cows will become unaffordable. Welsh Government should be supporting this type of farming. Suckler herds are a really natural way to rear cattle – the calves spend 10 months with their mother at the farm and then two years on the grassland with no routine antibiotic or hormone treatments. What we produce is natural Welsh beef and these regulations will only push the intensive beef farming systems that we don’t want to see,” added Jeff James.

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COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/