Farmers count cost of raw materials

Getting food on the plate is an expensive business – it costs £700 to fuel a combine harvester for two days in the fields.

By Barbara Cossins
Founder of Love Local
Trust Local
I went out to see the combines yesterday as they started work in the first field that was malting barley – needed for making beer – as we kicked into the 2022 Harvest. Never has it felt so important to be there.
Yes, every year is important, but this year because of the war and Covid-19 and Brexit and climate change, it just felt different. The first load of corn is a very important one as we can see how much the field is going to yield per acre.
The weather has been quite kind over the Autumn and Spring, and that means the crops were sown on time and it rained when the crops needed that moisture most. Both good things that we wish for but are completely out of our hands.
Farmers are never happy with the weather. I should know because I’m a farmer’s daughter and a farmer’s wife. The main topic of conversation every day in a farmhouse, and on a working farm, is the weather.
The weather today is so hot we are worried about fires on the combine and out in the fields. The combines have to be kept clean so that there’s not a build-up of dirt as that’s what could catch fire. Flinty, stony ground can also create a spark and catch a field of corn on fire in an instant, so we have to have a water tank on the back of the tractor and cultivating discs to create a firebreak if needed.
As we all know the cost
of fuel is soaring, so filling the combine now costs us £700 and this only lasts two days! Fertiliser costs were £260 in 2019/2021 and in 2022 have rocketed to £630.
There’s no alternative to this having a direct impact on food costs. They will have to increase to keep up with inflation. Not just here in England but all over the globe.
We’ve had cheap imported food on our plates for far too long. People don’t appreciate or think about what British farmers do to produce the food we eat – what the real efforts have been into what people are picking up in the supermarkets and putting in their trolleys.
We all need good quality food in our tummies, so please stop and think about where your food is coming from and appreciate our great British farmer.
If we all try and buy some local and fresh food every week, it’s far healthier for the environment with fewer miles travelled and less preservatives needed to keep it fresh.
Love Local Trust Local is always my motto in life. Happy Harvest everyone.;; www.lovelocaltrustlocal

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