Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Pays to Carry on Farming ( Webster

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Pays to Carry on Farming ( Webster

Article excerpt

Cumbrian farmer and CLA advisor Jim Webster warned North-East farmers this week that their businesses would not survive CAP reform if they drastically cut back on livestock numbers and just pocketed the subsidy cheque.

With subsidies moving to a single land-based payment, Mr Webster, who was speaking at a Country Land and Business Association conference at Hexham Auction Mart, said that it was tempting for farmers to reduce or even get rid of their animals and just pick up their cheque.

But he warned that calculations based on his own business showed that he would be worse off financially, even if he did rent out the land, unless he went out and got another job.

Mr Webster buys about 200 calves each year and then sells them as stores at 14 months. When variable and fixed costs are taken into account, his business makes a profit of pounds 1,000 and he receives a subsidy cheque for pounds 13,000.

However, he said that if he halved the number of calves he reared, his business would make a pounds 6,000 loss and even if he did receive pounds 13,000 in subsidy payments, this would mean an annual income of just pounds 7,000. …

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