Covid-19, Brexit and the weather mean farmers are facing their biggest challenges for 50 years
COVID-19, Brexit and ‘awful weather’ mean there are more challenges for farming than for 50 years, according to Graham Redman, author of the John Nix Pocketbook.
The 2021 edition looks at the effect of the pandemic on all supply chains, market volatility and public spending, with sudden changes in consumer behaviour.
Mr Redman said: “Couple this with some hiccups in food supply and the overall challenge has been substantial.
“Nobody in the UK has gone hungry because of food supply chain failures,” he added, pointing out how remarkably adaptive the industry had been to achieve that.
He noted how the food supply industry, including farming has demonstrated astonishing resilience and flexibility, responding to the challenge and responsibility of keeping people fed.
Brexit and the rewriting of trading relationships and farm support policies ’could send agriculture in either of two directions in 2021’, Mr Redman said.
Changing policy plans throughout the UK would lead to varying devolved rules and new ways of farming for many.
“This will offer opportunities for some but lower subsidy claims for others.”
And as farming emerges from the most unsuitable weather conditions for many crops in most people’s living memory, it might be well into 2021 by the time financial implications become fully felt, when crop sales do not meet the usual levels on many farms.