Policy views sought from arable farmers

Neil White, Greenknowe Farm, Swinton. Chairman of the NFU Scotland mid and east Berwickshire branch, regional board and the combinable crops committee
Neil White, Greenknowe Farm, Swinton. Chairman of the NFU Scotland mid and east Berwickshire branch, regional board and the combinable crops committee

Local combinable crops representative Neil White is calling on arable farmers to make their views known to the farmers’ union.

The arable farmer of Greenknowe, Swinton is urging the region’s crop growers to put their views forward on the latest CAP proposals.

He said: “The potential for the combinable crops sector to face the bulk of new greening proposals, three cropping rules and reduced SFP (single farm payment) on top of modulation and top slicing, shows us we must speak up and make our case for continued support for our sector.

“Backing from the government is essential to help us compete, not only within the UK, but the EU and world markets.

“The combinable crops committee of NFUS needs opinion and feedback on all current proposals so we can play our part in the reform.”

Mr White, who is also a member of NFUS’ regional board and chairs the Mid and East Berwickshire branch, said: “Autumn plantings have gone very well and well established crops from hedge to hedge are visible all around the countryside.”

The latest information on the area’s harvest, following this month’s union regional board meeting, confirmed below average yields.

Winter crop failure led to a glut of spring crops, mostly barley and oats and wheat yields were below average, but varied ‘massively’ from field to field and farm to farm, said Mr White.

He added: “Quality this year, unlike last year, was mostly good, but nitrogen levels in some malting barley were high.”