Farmers of Tomorrow will be the Best of Today’s Farmers


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23 September 2021
Farmers of Tomorrow will be the Best of Today’s Farmers

THE newly-published edition of the John Nix Pocketbook for Farm Management, which provides farm management and budgeting figures for 2022, forsees challenges ahead, with farm subsidies becoming more difficult to access for some farmers and for many, lower ex-farm prices than are available today. 

This could present a difficult time for the farming industry and encourage many to change the way they have farmed until now, it reveals. 

The Pocketbook uses lower prices than are currently available for most farm goods in its budgeting figures for 2022. 

Editor of the Pocketbook Graham Redman said: “Farmers should prepare for leaner times, which might be as soon as next year.” 

He expects ex-farm prices for many goods to drop in the coming 12 months. Along with that, the change in allocation of farm subsidy will start taking effect from December and more reductions will occur in 2022. Some farmers will be better off from the implementation of the Environmental Land Management scheme, but there will be many who become financially worse off. 

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In the longer term, as UK policy no longer has to fit into the framework of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, it will change considerably. To that extent, it may even redefine many farmer’s roles. The ‘as of right’ payments for occupying land are now tapering down (in England), as explained in the book, and farmers will have to work to receive Government Support. This changes the economics of farming, as well as the way things are done on farm.  Lord Plumb points out this might offer exit opportunities for many older farmers, and new business and growth chances for younger energetic farmers. 

Graham added: “Lord Plumb’s comment identifies that it may not be just the activities on the farm that change, but those doing the farming may also change in the coming years. He also identifies there is a retirement facility but those staying in may have to think carefully about how they are farming”. 

The whole-farm costings chapter of the Pocketbook demonstrates wide variations in budgeted profitability in 2022 between sectors and farmer performances. 

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