British arable farmers launch campaign to highlight importance of harvest

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​A new initiative: the #YourHarvest campaign will highlight the hard work and dedication of arable farmers across the UK by bringing their stories to life on social media.

​Videos and photos will explain what is happening on farm during harvest, what’s being grown in the fields, how crops are being used, and how the produce ends up on people’s plates.

As the arable sector prepares to celebrate its significant contribution to the nation’s economy and food production, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is calling on the next government to further support those farming businesses hit by some of the most challenging weather conditions in living memory.

Confidence across the arable sector is at an all-time low. This follows months of wet weather and horrendous flooding combined with high production costs, ongoing market volatility and against a backdrop of reduced farm support.

Jamie BurrowsJamie Burrows
Jamie Burrows

Speaking at the start of this year’s Cereals event, NFU combinable crops board chair Jamie Burrows said: “Arable farmers, like everyone, have faced a miserable last six months of continuous wet weather which has led to devastating flooding and thousands of acres of productive farmland affected.

“Many of our members have been unable to get onto fields to plant crops and those that did manage it have lost much of what was already in the ground. For those that have planted, it’s now a wait and see game with what the summer holds.”

He added: “We, literally, are in the lap of the weather gods.

"It’s great that further measures were announced recently to ensure more arable farmers are getting the support they need to recover and rebuild, such as widening the scope of the Farm Recovery Fund.

“But we want to see whoever wins the general election instigate further practical policies that will allow the nation’s arable farmers to boost home-grown food production and our important work in protecting and enhancing the environment.”

According to Burrows, one measure that would help is the introduction of the NFU’s proposed Farm Business Investment Loans (FBILs).

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These would enable many farmers and growers to not only weather the current, highly volatile commercial conditions, but crucially, invest in their farming businesses to become more resilient in the future.

He said: “We will be taking the opportunity in the next few weeks to speak about this with candidates from all political parties as we promote the NFU’s election manifesto, so they understand the importance of UK food security.”

The NFU representative concluded: “Being such a tough year makes this year’s #YourHarvest campaign more important than ever.

“With combines preparing to roll within weeks, we will be celebrating across all social media platforms everything that is great about harvest: the amazing crops we grow like wheat for your bread or barley for your beer and thanking the public for backing British farming and the continued support in buying high quality, sustainable food."

Meanwhile, support from the Irish government for its tillage sector continues apace. Growers are already eligible for an additional €100/ha additional support payment, which recognises the impact of the bad weather on crop production over the past 18 months.

Looking ahead, it is anticipated that the Dublin authorities will respond officially to the recently published Tillage Vision Report courtesy of measures introduced in the upcoming 2025 Budget.

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