Countryfile: David outlines benefits of regenerative farming
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Will Woodhall, who grows beetroot, spring onions and cereals at his farm in Penkridge, Staffordshire, said he expected to lose up to £90,000 after border rules introduced in January prompted EU firms to look elsewhere for goods. Since exiting the EU, Britain is free to design its own agricultural policy to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Some farmers report stock is going unsold and left to rot under existing Brexit border rules between Britain and the bloc.
Mr Woodhall told the BBC that after Brexit he had anticipated problems and so grew a smaller crop.
He decided to boost production when business boomed only for this to abruptly come to an end.
Mr Woodhall is now considering a new plan and believes it is possible his composted beetroot could enrich the soil for barley.
Express.co.uk readers reacted with fury to the news with Grumpy72 commenting: “Farmers have been reliant on cheap labour for so long, they’ve now got a problem.”
Fellow reader John Longstride wrote: “Mr Woodhall is now free to adapt to the changes and grow only what he can harvest and market according to local conditions.”
man in oz chimed in: “CAP has made some British farmers incapable of finding solutions, they only know how to find problems.
“If the average British farmer had to cope with Australian farming conditions, they would pack up the next day.”
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Reader Dr John Francis added: “Farming is a tough business at any time, never mind when you have to deal with spiteful EU types, but successful farmers are flexible and sensitive to changing winds.
“Grow something else, Sport.”
Welshjan advised: “Surely this farmer should learn to diversify as others have done so.
“He has had two years to realise that perhaps his beetroot sales have been going down so try something else.
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“Or even advertise it for sale in a farm shop rather than leave it to rot. There are many food banks I am sure that could have done with the vegetables left over.”
Another Express.co.uk reader, goforitandy, said: “Rather than complain about change, as Remainers always do, adapt to it!
“There is no choice anyway, and all the moaning in the world won’t make us rejoin the EU! That boat has sailed, and good riddance!”
The comments came after a report from MPs on the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee called for a review of the Skilled Workers Visa scheme, which they said has harmed the post-Brexit farming industry.
National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Minette Batters said the report backs up the NFU’s long-standing call for a more enabling immigration policy that mitigates against “crippling” labour shortages and structural issues in the food supply chain.
In a statement on the NFU website, she added: “Farm businesses are working hard to recruit staff domestically, but even sharply rising wages have had little impact because the labour pool is so limited.
“Instead, this only adds to production costs at a time when we are also facing rapidly rising costs on farm and continued global uncertainty due to the conflict in Ukraine and the real possibility of a crisis of confidence among the nation’s farmers and growers.”
The NFU has called for a review of the current immigration system, including the Shortage Occupation List and Seasonal Worker Scheme as recommended by the Migrant Advisory Committee.
It insists this will help make sure the labour needs of the food supply chain are met and assist in shoring up the estimated 500,000 vacancies left unfilled across the food and farming industry.
Ms Batters said: “These vacancies threaten our own UK food security, and our ability to contribute to the nation’s economy through increased exports.”
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