Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Scottish Farming on Hard Times

Scotland's beef sector is on the brink of collapse due to depressed prices, according to a leading figure in the Scottish farming union.
Gary Christie, of NFU Scotland, said the slump is preventing some farmers covering the cost of rearing cattle. He told the BBC Irish beef, stockpiled ahead of Brexit, is already being drip-fed into the system.
Under growing pressure for improved efficiency, farmers are now able to breed animals weighing about 420kg by the time they reach maturity. But farmers say they have been told abattoirs will soon stop accepting animals which are larger than about 360kg.
Mr Christie added: "The supermarkets say the steaks are too big and they have a job selling big steaks."
Farmers are reporting destroyed cereals across the country because of the intense rainfall. Those who have not had their crops damaged are finding it difficult operating heavy machinery for harvesting in waterlogged fields. 
"My crop has been ready for 10 days and it's getting weathered. It makes it a dull colour and will make it difficult, possibly, to meet the stringent specifications that this crop requires. Our buyer might say they don't want to buy it, which would devalue the crop quite considerably.
"A lot of our wheat goes to the distilling industry. The specification is for a good, reasonable quality to it. If it falls out of that specification then it goes into animal feed and we get less for it. If it's spring barley and most of it's gone flat, then we probably will struggle to make the very stringent specifications our maltsters demand.


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