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2018 Agriculture Bill to shape future of farming

2nd Jan 2018 / By Alistair Driver

The new Agricultural Bill, due for publication in 2018, will shape the farming industry for generations to come, NFU president Meurig Raymond said in his New Year message.

MRThe Bill, which will follow the publication of an Agricultural White Paper, will map of the future of UK farming outside the EU, including a new domestic agricultural policy..

“With Brexit negotiations now past the initial phase, it is more important than ever that we recognise and support the work of British farmers in providing the food for our nation, maintaining our iconic farmed landscape and contributing billions of pounds to the UK’s economy," Mr Raymond said.

Farmer confidence low 

The latest NFU member survey of 750 farmers showed farmer confidence has hit an all-time low since the survey began eight years ago, while confidence for the next 12 months has also taken a hit as we prepare to leave the EU.

The survey also shows that twice as many farmers are going to reduce investment (20%) than increase investment (10%) because of uncertainty associated with Brexit.

Input prices were identified as having the biggest negative effect in the year ahead. A weaker pound has provided farmers with improved prices for their produce, but feed, fuel and fertiliser have also witnessed cost hikes.

This was closely followed by regulation and legislation, Brexit and economic conditions.

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