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RISING food costs have attracted much publicity in recent weeks, the latest claim being that food inflation is running at 19 per cent.
THERE is a growing sense of anxiety on the part of livestock farmers that the Scottish Government is still on the back foot in its approach to bluetongue disease.
THE battle to secure meaningful compensation for farmers who suffered losses following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) last year in Surrey stepped up a gear yesterday when a delegation from NFU Scotland delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street.
ALL the UK farming organisations have made it clear for many months that they intend to pursue the government for compensation for the full losses incurred as a result of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in August and early September of 2007.
THERE is little doubt that climate change is having an impact on the agricultural industry in Scotland. The consensus is that this will lead to drier summers and increased rainfall during the winter. Scientists at the Moredun Research Institute, near Edinburgh, reckon that climate change will have a major impact on the health and welfare of livestock.
FARMERS have got to grasp the reality that they cannot any longer operate in isolation: the 10,000 serious businesses in Scotland are part of the wider food industry.
FARMERS tend to be heavily involved in the everyday practicalities of running their businesses, but many might be better to take a step back and consider the future options.
THE strained cash flow of the agricultural industry, especially in the livestock sector, received a welcome boost following the announcement yesterday that the Scottish government expects to meet the claims of around 90 per cent of applicants for the single farm payment (SFP) before the end of December. This will involve around 18,000 farmers and crofters. Payments are expected to be in the region of £330 million.
THE next six months are set to be expensive for most livestock farmers, according to Stuart Somerville, the business services manager with the Scottish Agricultural College.
THE 2007 harvest of cereals and potatoes was undoubtedly one of the better and more profitable seasons for the arable sector for some years. The prospects for farmers on better land also look encouraging for 2008, but one major issue facing the farming industry at large remains. Who will be there to gather in the crops and tend the livestock?
THE jargon on Brussels appears to expand by the day, but PGI (protected geographical indication) is one that the Scottish red meat industry is very proud to have been awarded as long ago as June 1996.
CONSUMERS urgently require a supermarket regulator or ombudsman, according to NFU Scotland.
MANUFACTURING industries in the UK have been in decline for many years, with the economy increasingly focused on the financial sector.
SCOTTISH sheep farmers affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak are expected to receive emergency payments within the next week after the European Commission approved the scheme.
THE Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) together with the devolved administrations, has published a new study into plant health threats throughout the UK to provide an evidence base against which future policies can be considered. The study, conducted by Imperial College, London, was jointly funded by the government and the industry.
CARCASE quality should be the driver in selection of rams for breeding, according to Robbie Wilson who runs the noted Strathisla flock of pedigree Suffolk sheep at North Dorthlaithers, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, writes Dan Buglass.
THE past three months have been nothing short of hell for the farming industry: a mere eight cases of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey among a bunch of hobby farmers - who clearly were more interested in seeing their investment in land values increase rather than supervising the welfare of their cattle and sheep - plunged the entire livestock industry into total crisis.
I RECENTLY watched a television documentary about the First World War. It portrayed respected generals employing tactics from previous battles because they knew no different, sending wave after wave of loyal, trusting men to their almost certain deaths in search of victory. It was done with the best intentions and tacticians offering the best advice, and did bring ultimate victory, but at terrible cost.