March 9 2014 Latest news:
By MICHAEL POLLITT, Agricultural editor
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Farming’s costs have risen by 4.3pc in the past six months – about three times more than the latest official inflation figures, it will be revealed at today’s Norfolk Farming Conference.
The latest half-year figures as calculated by the Anglia Farmers Agricultural Inflation Index showed that prices have risen by 4.39pc since August.
Delegates at the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park will be told that the latest figure represents a sharp increase from the AgInflation’s 3.38pc for the 12 months to August 2012.
The biggest increase in the latest half-year figures include a 16.9pc surge in the animal health products and feed, 11.2pc for fuel and a 10.2pc rise in seed costs. A shortage of cereal seed, especially for spring-sown varieties, has also added to the inflationary pressure. The cost of machinery fell by 6.4pc.
Increased costs have been reported across every sector with livestock hit the hardest with dairy up by 10.07pc and beef and lamb by 9.83pc. While combinable crop costs were up 2.7pc and sugar beet by 3.73pc, the potato sector has seen a 10.89pc cost increase.
A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”.