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IN THIS ISSUE
The secret in the soil
Farming news and views in Wales February 2013 All prices exclude VATand delivery Tel. 01643 841611 £1.50
Venture sees garden grow
Hopes pinned on wonder op
HIT IN THE POCKET: Tony Hack confronts the harsh financial reality of bovine TB.
PICTURE: Debbie James.
Banks adding to farmers’ TB woe
Subscriptions 0500 101606
■ Farms are penalised for breakdowns
ADAIRY farmer who has lost more than 40 cows to bovine TB says business- es hit by the disease face financial penalties from
their banks. Tony Hack, whoruns apedi-
gree herdinCeredigion, has been with the same bank for15years, butwhen TB first struck his herd thatrelationship changed.
by Debbie James “I had asense thatifa farm
had TB they would be very reluc- tant to lend. If youdon’t have the backing of your bank it makes youfeel very vulnerable,” Mr Hack admitted. “Banks will look at afarm’s
cashflowoversix months,ifyou have lost cows and don’t have as much milk to sell thatisgoing to affect the cashflow. In our experi- ence banks will tighten up on their lending.’’ Mr Hack said the interest rate
he wascharged has doubled to 5%, at atime when farms are alreadystruggling financially.
Since the farmwas hit by TB
he has had to reduce spending. “Wehaven’t spent money on machines forfive years because we simplycan’t afford to,” he said.
Mr Hack runs apedigree herd
of 100 Holsteins and 25 pedigree BrownSwiss and Ayrshirecattle. He has lost severalcowsfrom leading cowfamilies. “If youlose agood cowfrom
the herd, youcan’t just replace them –itdoesn’t work likethat,” he said. The herdhas nowachievedits
first clear TB test and will be test- ed again after 60 days. Mr Hack, whofarms outside the Intensive Action Area, urged
the Welsh Government to take action beyond badger vaccina- tion to controlthe wildlife popu- lation and to ensurethe future survivaloffamilyfarms. He hopes to expand the dairy
herdwhen his son joins the fami- ly business,but admits it will be challenging if the farmkeeps los- ing cattle. “I am happythatmyson
wants to join the familyfarm business,but unless the Welsh Government sorts out bovine TB I’m afraid it’sgoing to put alot of youngsters offjoining the industry,” he said. Latest figures showthatin
2011 morethan 8,000 cattle were slaughtered in Wales because of
bovine TB and this cost over £13m in compensation alone. The European Commission
has nowapproved the Wales TB Eradication Plan for2013. Environment minister John
Griffiths insisted thatWales had acomprehensive range of meas- ures in place to deal with bovine TB.
“This includes tackling the dis-
ease in wildlife,increased TB testing and improving biosecuri- ty,” he said.
Find out how Tony Hack copes with living
in the shadow of TB. See page 19
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Contact Bryn: M:07739 323322 Andy: M:07977 252664 www.kelvincave.com
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