Farmers suffering ‘cash flow crisis’, NFU president warns in new year message


- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Farmers are suffering from a cash-flow crisis, National Farmers’ Union president Meurig Raymond warned in his new year’s message today.

As he urged all levels of government and the food supply chain to play their parts in backing British farming, he highlighted the plight of many within the industry.

“I won’t shy away from saying how tough this year has been for farming. We’ve experienced a very difficult cash flow crisis within the industry and recovery may be some time off,” he said.

“It’s been a challenging year given the levels of volatility we’ve seen, both in markets and weather, and I know it’s knocked the confidence of many farmers.”

Safeguarding farm businesses from the destructive effects of volatility was essential, he said.

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“The UK is going to be the most populous country in the European Union by the mid-2040s, which is many more mouths to feed. We need action from government, in the EU and domestically, and all parts of the supply chain to enable a competitive, productive and profitable farming industry to supply this country with a safe, secure, affordable supply of British food.

“We’re entering a critical time for British farmers and an increasingly challenging environment for food production.”

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He highlighted a number of issues which his organisation had raised during the year and its successes in lobbying government.

In parrticular, he pointed to the Chancellor’s announcement to allow farmers up to five years tax averaging and the Annual Investment Allowance of £200,000 during his financial statement, new legislation to tackle fly-grazing, the approval of our application for emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments and new regulations of tractor and trailer weights and speeds.

Lobbying for prompt farm subsidy payments would continue to be a priority for the NFU, he added.

“I know Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments and Countryside Stewardship will continue to be high on the list for us. I know how crucial these payments are to farmers and the difficulties delays bring.”

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