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NSA Welsh Sheep 2013


shows must go on

page 6

Top event springs to life

Check out Wales

Farmer’s guide to this year’s sum- mer shows.

Pages 14-15 Farming news and views in Wales

Visit to seefor yourself... May 2013

Body blowfor Welsh farming

NEWS that the Welsh Country Meats processing plant at Gaerwen, Anglesey is to close, with the loss of 350 jobs, has been described as a‘bodyblow’ forthe Welsh red meat sector.The plant’sparent group Vion, had failed to find abuyer forthe site, which processed 640,000 lambs ayear and it shut its doors on April 12th.

Full story on page 3. page 18

Youngsters speak up

pages 24-25

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Government’s ‘crumbs’ of help aresnow joke

■ No cash for hard-hit hill farmers

WALES’ farming minister has delivered ablunt mes- sage to livestock produc- ers

who suffered unprecedented losses in

last month’s heavy snow. Alun Davies has ruled out emergency financial aid to farm-

by Debbie James

ers in the worst affected areas and has urged them to become moreresilient. Thousands of sheep died in

regions of Wales with high con- centrations of flocks and this will impact heavilyonfarmincomes and cashflowoverthe coming months.

Although the Welsh

Government has extended atem- porary derogation to allowfarm- ers to bury their dead stock on farmuntil April 16th, Alun

Davies,Wales’ minister fornatu- ralresources and food, said there would be no cash aid. He has instead implemented

an independent reviewtoexam- ine howchallenges related to the weather could be better over- come in the future. “Agriculturewill always be

reliant on the climate,and con- cerns raised with me about the cumulative impacts of this latest episode of severe weather suggest theremay be an inherent under- lying weakness in farmbusiness- es’ resilience,individuallyand collectively,tocope when diffi-

cult circumstances arise,” said Mr Davies. “The lamb sector,for example,

has experienced arelatively steadyperiod of stableor increasing prices and growing incomes in recent years.Itisa matter of greatconcern if asin- gle year of reduced prices, together with the difficult weath- er,causes such apparent econom- ic disruption to the sector.” The reviewprocess will look at

what can be done to strengthen resilience. “The reviewwill also consider some of the business models that

presentlyapplyinthe industry, particularly among the livestock sectors,and whether they are actuallyviableinthe longer term,”said Mr Davies. Mr Davies suggested business-

es across Wales had suffered dur- ing the extreme weather and manyinindustries other than farming were facing significant financial problems also. “It is simplynot sustainableor

fair if we respond to every chal- lenge with ademand formore and greater public support,”he said.

(Continued on page 3) £1.50

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