Janet Hughes DEFRA Missing in action?

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm a realist about my own business.
I produce -primarily- suckled calves, hairy yearling stores, and store hill lambs.
(The icing on the farming cake is sale of pedigree/draft breeding stock, where my very hungry hill and haphazard farming skills make my stock fairly sought)
I cannot for the life of me see how I'm going to, even this year, top £100k in stock sales.
Without subs, my farm business would absolutely have to be kept to 'dog and stick'...which in turn would knock production back a bit, see a steady collapse in infrastructure, and put people around me out of work.

It doesn't matter much to me how Janet or anyone else dresses it up.
With those payments, I'll keep the cow numbers up.....without em they'll plummet.

I think there is a food crisis coming...i don't see how it can be avoided.
I take it your (possible) fantastic year this year will partially ride on high prices for produce grown on inputs bought before the jump in price?
Certainly the grown up (arable) farmers I'm talking to locally are in that boat, but already scratching their heads about how much to commit for 2023.
DEFRA should be knocking at their door right now and asking. Are they? Are they fudge.

For the record, I personally couldn't care two hoots about the fate of those who cannot afford to eat - wherever they are.
My concern is for the social unrest and upset various scenarios conjure.
As I have mentioned before the only way to secure the future for smaller livestock farmers is to retain the current SFP system but restrict payments to the first 100 hectares payable to all farmers with any ELMS projects in addition to this, without this security not many smaller livestock & hill farmers will have a viable future.
Is this really what we want?
 

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
There is no food crisis coming for a rich nation that sits with 4 others on the UN security council... we will get what our people need where ever we wish... 3rd world nations will suffer not the UK..fact
You may not have taken into account decisions that food exporting nations might take to feed their own people and their allies first which might mean a less varied diet for those nations. Given the choice of civil unrest and politicians heads on pikes, food supply control becomes a significant weapon in global politics
 

egbert

Member
As I have mentioned before the only way to secure the future for smaller livestock farmers is to retain the current SFP system but restrict payments to the first 100 hectares payable to all farmers with any ELMS projects in addition to this, without this security not many smaller livestock & hill farmers will have a viable future.
Is this really what we want?
I don't think that's an unreasonable start point.....but is waaaay to simple for whitehall.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
There is no food crisis coming for a rich nation that sits with 4 others on the UN security council... we will get what our people need where ever we wish... 3rd world nations will suffer not the UK..fact
Very much depends on whether you can afford the increased price of food as to whether it's a food crisis that's a FACT, but then who cares about the poor these days?
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
I'm a realist about my own business.
I produce -primarily- suckled calves, hairy yearling stores, and store hill lambs.
(The icing on the farming cake is sale of pedigree/draft breeding stock, where my very hungry hill and haphazard farming skills make my stock fairly sought)
I cannot for the life of me see how I'm going to, even this year, top £100k in stock sales.
Without subs, my farm business would absolutely have to be kept to 'dog and stick'...which in turn would knock production back a bit, see a steady collapse in infrastructure, and put people around me out of work.

It doesn't matter much to me how Janet or anyone else dresses it up.
With those payments, I'll keep the cow numbers up.....without em they'll plummet.

I think there is a food crisis coming...i don't see how it can be avoided.
I take it your (possible) fantastic year this year will partially ride on high prices for produce grown on inputs bought before the jump in price?
Certainly the grown up (arable) farmers I'm talking to locally are in that boat, but already scratching their heads about how much to commit for 2023.
DEFRA should be knocking at their door right now and asking. Are they? Are they fudge.

For the record, I personally couldn't care two hoots about the fate of those who cannot afford to eat - wherever they are.
My concern is for the social unrest and upset various scenarios conjure.
I said best year ever, not fantastic! And as you say it's not in the barn yet. Inputs bought this year and cut right back.

A good explanation of your situation and doubtless many others, but I think you illustrate perfectly how subsidies have kept prices below the cost of production. The supermarkets have been nicking our stock for years. Why is it ok for them to control the for retail sector, making vast profits while everyone else relies on benefits (including some of their staff if some accounts are to be believed)?

I say bring on the crisis and pay a decent price for food. That way, there's a better chance of it being grown next year and the year after.
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Very much depends on whether you can afford the increased price of food as to whether it's a food crisis that's a FACT, but then who cares about the poor these days?
If a poor person wants a job on my farm i would help them but they are all down the village on nintendo switch!!
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Most of my village is struggling with shopping bills but im am unable to support them as the water driven flour mill shut down 100 yrs ago🤔
 
There is no food crisis coming for a rich nation that sits with 4 others on the UN security council... we will get what our people need where ever we wish... 3rd world nations will suffer not the UK..fact
Yes its the poor people who wont just suffer they and their families will starve to death while @Janet Hughes Defra and the rest of the civil servants sing "feed the world" at their xmas party and talk about how grand a job theyve done of turning the uk into a wild flower meadow, we have land that can grow food BLOODY USE IT!!!!!!! other parts of the world arent so lucky!!!!!!!!
 
There is no food crisis coming for a rich nation that sits with 4 others on the UN security council... we will get what our people need where ever we wish... 3rd world nations will suffer not the UK..fact
but if we think there is an illegal immigrant crisis now, we should just wait to see what will happen if the food shortage really does happen as I expect it will
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
There is an immigration crisis!! How desperate is a Gov.UK when they have to fly them to Rwanda! They are short of working men there because of a little fraca betwwen hutu tribe and tutsi tribe... so sad and shallow😒
 

Jimdog1

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Devon
Yes its the poor people who wont just suffer they and their families will starve to death while @Janet Hughes Defra and the rest of the civil servants sing "feed the world" at their xmas party and talk about how grand a job theyve done of turning the uk into a wild flower meadow, we have land that can grow food BLOODY USE IT!!!!!!! other parts of the world arent so lucky!!!!!!!!
Your from Scotland though. Don't your devolved government deal with you?
 
@Janet Hughes Defra needs to explain why that cant happen. It has been intimated that it is for purely political reasons. We need to 'do things differently', Brexit and all that.

(If that is the case, then fine, there's no reason why SFI standards can't be written that are 'the same but different'.)
Yes I'm happy to explain the position if it's helpful (but as you've noted, I'm not allowed as an impartial civil servant to get into political debate about whether it's the right position - I will leave that to all of you).

The overall strategic direction has been set, after consultation and through primary legislation: England is moving away from area-based subsidies and instead using the money to pay farmers to take actions that support the environment, climate and animal health and welfare alongside food production.

The 'alongside food production' part of that is critical - there is a statutory duty on this, the government is clear that the primary purpose of farming is to produce food (and other agricultural goods), and this is an integral part of the policy: it's not about choosing between food production and the environment, it's about the two going hand in hand in a way that's beneficial for the farm, for food production and for the environment / climate / animal health and welfare. One of the reasons we're taking an incremental, test and learn approach to rolling out new policies and schemes is to make sure we've got that balance right and adjust it based on what we learn.

Within that overall strategic direction, Defra is using the flexibilities we now have to do things that can help farmers respond to the current situation, including:
* making BPS payments in 2 instalments to help farmers' cashflow (based on feedback from farmers who have told us that annual payments are generally unhelpful from a cashflow perspective, and particularly in the current situation)
* delaying changes to the rules on Urea
* clarifying Farming Rules for Water so that the rules are workable for farmers wanting to use organic manures / slurry on their land
* convening an industry group on fertilisers to look at what other measures might be necessary / useful (see this blogpost for more info and links on all of this: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/30/fertiliser-updates-and-support/)

There are also of course much wider and bigger policy issues and questions about the response to the current situation, which are relevant to the questions you're all debating but way outside my remit / area of expertise to comment on or help you with I'm afraid - much as I want to be helpful, I can't usefully comment on things that I don't work on.
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Yes I'm happy to explain the position if it's helpful (but as you've noted, I'm not allowed as an impartial civil servant to get into political debate about whether it's the right position - I will leave that to all of you).

The overall strategic direction has been set, after consultation and through primary legislation: England is moving away from area-based subsidies and instead using the money to pay farmers to take actions that support the environment, climate and animal health and welfare alongside food production.

The 'alongside food production' part of that is critical - there is a statutory duty on this, the government is clear that the primary purpose of farming is to produce food (and other agricultural goods), and this is an integral part of the policy: it's not about choosing between food production and the environment, it's about the two going hand in hand in a way that's beneficial for the farm, for food production and for the environment / climate / animal health and welfare. One of the reasons we're taking an incremental, test and learn approach to rolling out new policies and schemes is to make sure we've got that balance right and adjust it based on what we learn.

Within that overall strategic direction, Defra is using the flexibilities we now have to do things that can help farmers respond to the current situation, including:
* making BPS payments in 2 instalments to help farmers' cashflow (based on feedback from farmers who have told us that annual payments are generally unhelpful from a cashflow perspective, and particularly in the current situation)
* delaying changes to the rules on Urea
* clarifying Farming Rules for Water so that the rules are workable for farmers wanting to use organic manures / slurry on their land
* convening an industry group on fertilisers to look at what other measures might be necessary / useful (see this blogpost for more info and links on all of this: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/30/fertiliser-updates-and-support/)

There are also of course much wider and bigger policy issues and questions about the response to the current situation, which are relevant to the questions you're all debating but way outside my remit / area of expertise to comment on or help you with I'm afraid - much as I want to be helpful, I can't usefully comment on things that I don't work on.
rubbish @Janet Hughes Defra you are applying area payment per m2 for your SFI scheme... what is the bloody difference... stick to your brief then and be flexible?????
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
And.... if they ignore you do what is right for our nation as a civil servant.. you will be knighted in return...
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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