HSE statistics show that of the 30 fatalities on farms, in the twelve months to March 2017, 27 were farmers and farm workers. Most deaths involved vehicles which together with animals are the main causes of fatalities over the last five years.
The positive financial impact of country shows has been highlighted by the Lincolnshire Show. There were 60,000 visitors to the show and they spent £7.5m at the various trade stands. In addition, a further £3.5m was spent in local shops, hotels, restaurants and tourist venues.
The sales of new tractors were up by 14% to 7233, in the year to date, at the end of July. The picture is also positive in the area of second-hand machinery with turnover at recent sales up by 17%. Auctioneers cite a shortage of stock and favourable exchange rates for attracting both UK and foreign buyers.
An offshoot of the Anglia Farmers buying group is re-shaping the market for straw. Marketing over 100,000 tonnes of straw for the energy, food and farming sectors, a nationwide delivery service has been introduced with pooled payments guaranteeing income for producers.
Heavy rain continues to hamper the cereal harvest across the country with farmers combining crops at moisture content of up to 22% just to get the harvest completed.
Global grain prices have steadied after falling for several weeks. The world wheat harvest looks likely to be the largest ever with the EU crop well up on last year. However, there are concerns about the overall quality which may impact on supplies and prices for high-end milling wheats. Russia and Ukraine are predicting very good harvests and have become increasingly competitive in export markets.
The Welsh Government is proposing to allow a range of leisure activities on land opened up under the Countryside Rights of Way Act. Farming leaders have expressed concern that such activities will have an adverse impact on wildlife and existing farmer run leisure businesses.