This Week in Farming: Energy Bills, Beef Myths and New Fendts
Welcome to This Week in Farming, your regular roundup of the best content on the weekly farmers website in the last seven days.
Every Saturday, we round up five of the biggest topics that got people talking, and look forward to what’s to come this week. weekly farmers podcast.
Focus on Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had a myriad of global effects, but of course no financial impact here comes close to the horrific impact it had on the people of Ukraine, including their farmers.
This week, we got new insight from Ukrainian agricultural journalist, Ihor Pavliuk, on the mortal danger faced by growers who simply try to work on land littered with unexploded ordnance.
Another of the biggest problems facing grain farmers was the inability to move stored crops from barns and bins to the farm as exports came to a halt after the war began.
A UN-brokered deal to allow that flow to resume appears to be holding for now, with 61 ships loaded with 1.5million tonnes of food now gone since it came into force, bringing some relief to farmers and consumers.
The impact of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s use of the country’s gas exports as a tool is now widely known, with business owners not protected by the energy price cap seeing the biggest cost increases .
Associate Editor Lauren Harris spoke with Jodie Hisgett, Commercial Sales Manager at NFU Energy, who revealed that some farmers are facing increased annual expenses of up to 400% and rounded up the latest advice for those who negotiate a new contract.
Other energy-intensive sectors have also been hit hard, including fertilizer makers, CF Fertiliser, Yara and others raising prices and cutting production across Europe.
This has increased farmers’ interest in reducing application rates when considering using a winter cover crop to supply a portion of the following year’s sugar beet nitrogen requirements.
Breaking the myths
Even before the cost of living crisis, food and agriculture was rarely out of the spotlight in the scrutiny of our sector’s contribution to climate change.
In the rush to transition to a greener future, many accusations have been made about the climate impact of farming – some of which go beyond scientific fact.
In this excellent myth-busting article, we’ve worked with the Sustainable Food Trust to tackle eight of the most common claims, including “Too much land is devoted to animal production”.
Elsewhere in environmental news, the Welsh Government has announced it has simplified the application process for landowners interested in planting trees, with an offer of £32million in two schemes.
Even as lobby groups bicker over red meat, exports from UK farms hit a record high, with shipments valued at £858m in the first half of the year, the latest HMRC figures revealed, while that cheese exports have also increased.
Yet senior livestock reporter Michael Priestley writes that beef production is unlikely to increase to meet this additional demand, with increased cull cow sales expected this fall, as herd managers seek to disperse or cull hard in the face of rising production costs.
In the United States, the situation is similar, with beef producer Daniel Mushrush seeing costs jump 30% from a year ago and still rising.
Fendt unveils a new range
As red meat leaves the country, many of the country’s favorite tractor brands are being shipped from the other direction.
It was the turn of Fendt fans to celebrate this week as the Agco-owned brand unveiled a larger and more powerful 700 Series tractor line.
Read all about the many changes to the new Gen7 models, including the new engine block.
Listen to the F.W. Podcast
Don’t forget the latest edition of the weekly farmers podcast with Johann Tasker and Hugh Broom as well.
This week, they’ll discuss Liz Truss’ appearance at an NFU husting event and more.
Listen to it here or take us with you in the taxi by downloading it from your usual podcast platform.