FarmWeb News 08/07/2012

The value of British farms is forecast to rise by 37% over the next four years, out performing most other countries in the world and the forecast rises in gold and oil prices. Whilst around 60% of sales are to farmers, pension funds and other institutions remain keen to invest in the sector.

The EU is to claw back €426m of CAP payments from member states because of non-compliance with subsidy rules. Spain, Italy and Greece, between them, account for the bulk of this amount.

An Industry Code of Practice has been produced to help prevent or control ill health to visitors caused by contact with animals at farm open days. The Code is intended to apply to all such premises whether open for just one day or specialising in regular visits and comes amid increasing numbers of farm visitors.

Grain prices across the world are rising again underpinned by expected yield reductions in the USA caused by very hot weather. The current UK price of £170/tonne ex-farm has produced an increase in sales.

Crisis meetings are taking place between the Government and the various stakeholders in the milk industry following the latest round of price cuts by four major processors. Producers say prices have been driven to their lowest level for seven years and put the viability of the sector in doubt.

According to provisional figures from the HSE, the number of agricultural workers killed rose from 30 to 33 in the twelve months ending March 2012. Of these, 22 were self employed and 11 were employees. A farmer in East Yorkshire has been fined £10,000 for breaches of safety rules when a worker fell through a roof and was seriously injured.

A global initiative on the £3.2bn annual cost of foot-and-mouth disease has led to the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright being awarded £2m to fund research into the disease over the next five years. The Institute is a world leader in this field.

Stricter rules on the movement of cattle came into force on 1st July amending some of the previous exemptions such as movement to agricultural shows. In addition, compensation will be reduced where the statutory TB test is significantly overdue at the time of an outbreak.

The NFU (E&W) has appointed Andy Robertson as its next Director General. Robertson was formerly chief executive of NFU Scotland.