Livestock Producers Still Under Pressure

UK - Although many beef and sheep farms are performing better than last year, cost pressures still mean that most average producers are still making a loss before the single payment, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU).
calendar icon 1 November 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

The latest annual Business Pointers report, published by Eblex, shows that the majority of enterprise types still do not make a positive margin from production after non-cash costs. The figures also revealed that increased costs are set against higher outputs in every type of beef and sheep enterprise.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said that higher costs and the recent bad weather had hit farmers hard.

“Beef and sheep producers have really felt the pinch with rising variable costs, and there are a number of challenges we face going into the winter months particularly in terms of the cost of feed and quality of forage. But we can work to address these with a focus on improving feed rations and increasing production of home grown forage crops to help replace expensive concentrates.

“As I said in the NFU’s beef vision document ‘Bullish Prospects’, farmers are adaptable; they have modernised their businesses and will look to continually improve in the coming years, especially in fixed costs. There is a terrific amount of free information and support out there and I would encourage all farmers to make full use of the research, technical and business publications produced by the levy bodies.

“These results show that the CAP is still a vital lifeline for many beef and sheep farms. The NFU will continue to work actively in Brussels to ensure a fair deal for the livestock farmer in the CAP reform negotiations.”

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