Thursday, June 30, 2022

British Farmers Reduce Production

 As many countries face the difficulties of food shortages and higher prices, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU), are being forced to cut back on their food production.

A third of arable farmers told the NFU they're cutting back on crops for food.

Many are switching from growing wheat for bread to wheat for animal feed, as it uses less fertiliser. 

Fertiliser costs began to rise last autumn when the wholesale price of gas, which is needed to produce it, started to climb. The Ukraine conflict has made the situation worse, with sanctions hitting supplies from Russia, one of the world's biggest producers of some of the key ingredients in fertiliser.

Farming analysts the Andersons Centre track "agflation", which measures the rising costs faced by farmers. Their latest data shows agflation stood at 25.3% in May, compared to 9% CPI inflation and 8.5% CPI food inflation.

Pig farmers are also scaling back their production plans.  Fuel and pig feed price increases have hit farmers hard, with most producers unable to make a profit. The number of weeners - young pigs - has dropped by 23%. Many farmers are reducing their herds, or getting out of pig farming altogether.

Tom Allen, a farmer from Oxfordshire, who has seen the cost of animal feed double over the last year. "It's totally uneconomic." He has reduced his pig herd by a third, and has had to make a number of people redundant.

 One farmer told the BBC the food system in the UK is "broken".

Farmers cut food production as costs soar - BBC News

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