Are you a beef farmer in Britain today?
There are more problems facing Britain’s farmers today than ever before, making each day a constant challenge for the thousands individuals striving to produce fantastic Beef products for British consumption and international export alike.
With the uncertain threat of Brexit looming ever closer, not to mention an ever evolving crop of invasive plants looking to assert their dominance over British breeds, farmers have their work cut out if they hope to continue improving their yields and maximising their profits.
We had a chat with a few of our speakers from previous years to get their hot takes on the issues that are affecting them. Many of these farmers will be at the next incarnation of Beef Expo, so make a note of their names if you like what they have to say and try collaring them on the day!
“I’m sure thousands of farmers around the country made a collective groan when the Brexit results came in. Although lay people are mostly unaware of it, farmers are constantly having to readjust and evaluate their business in accordance to changing external variables. As far as these variables go, they don’t get much more unpredictable than Brexit!”
- Tarrent Paul
“The day that Brexit got announced I started making contingency plans which included how I would manage my land, my staff and my animals if the worse came to the worst. Thankfully, I’ve not had to put any of these plans into effect just yet, but I’m still ready to push the ‘Go’ button should I need to.”
- Kate Malkmus
“In all the hubbub of Brexit, many landowners have apparently forgotten that they have a responsibility to keep their land in order that means taking good care of your animals of course, but it also means looking to your borders and ensuring that your neighbours are doing the same. Although the cost of an invasive plant infestation might not make itself apparent immediately, you might find yourself rueing your complacency if you don’t take action early.”
- Jeff Babbett
“Treating Japanese knotweed (knotweedhelp.com) was at the top of my agenda this year, the cost of treatment might have been a stinger initially, but I’m much happier having this problem under control, rather than leaving it to flourish and potentially damage the value of my business. I’d recommend getting a few estimates before you commit to any treatment and, if possible, get a recommendation from a friend who’s had a similar problem.”
- Paul McAskill
“Last year’s drought was something that many farmers felt coming but few were prepared for. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but unfortunately it doesn’t recover your losses or give you that lost time back. Our weather here in the UK is unpredictable, which doesn’t make our jobs as farmers any easier. The best thing you can do is try and learn from your mistakes!”.
- Terrence Matthews
“Floods washed out a lot of my land last year, making looking after my herd a real challenge. Thankfully, we’d prepared for this eventuality and had the facilities in place to make sure that our livestock wasn’t negatively affected by the adverse weather conditions. The news so often focuses on how flooding affects people, but rarely does it look out for how the animals are affected.”
- Jane Fenton