Farms feelgood factor brings in 2012 on a high

First published in Pembrokeshire Farmer

THE majority of Wales’s farmers say they will increase production amid a climate of growing confidence.

The results of an NFU Cymru survey have indicated that confidence in the farming sector is increasing with more than half of farmers planning to expand.

Of the farmers surveyed during the summer, 60% said their optimism had increased in the last year and that they were very positive for the next five years.

NFU Cymru president, Ed Bailey, said it was obvious that prices were having a strong influence on farmer confidence, particularly in the beef and sheep sectors.

"This is undoubtedly linked to headline prices and profitability expectations,’’ he said.

With expansion on the horizon in the next five years for many, Mr Bailey said it was a clear signal that farmers were investing in their businesses for the long term.

"Key factors on the horizon keep me optimistic about the future,’’ he admitted.

There were some negatives thrown up by the survey. High input prices and regulation featured at the top of a list of concerns.

Mr Bailey, who runs a hill sheep and cattle farm in Meirionnydd, said one of the most exciting trends thrown up by the survey were plans for succession.

"I am particularly heartened by the fact that over a third of respondents cited ‘succession of the farm’ as one of the most positive impacts affecting their farming business,’’ he said.

"It is good news that the current generation of farmers is once again enthused and excited about their sons and daughters becoming involved in agriculture and likewise that the next generation can see a positive future in farming and want to play their part in ensuring we can meet the growing demand from the consumer for our first class produce here in Wales."

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