We are rapidly approaching March 29 with no idea what will be decided about Brexit. As Aled explained in last week’s County Times a ‘No deal’ would be very disadvantageous to farmers if tariffs are imposed on the export of our produce to our biggest market Europe. NFU Cymru along with the NFU are continually lobbying Government that a ‘No deal’ Brexit will be very detrimental to Welsh agriculture. Farmers cannot change their management at short notice to mitigate for the unknown future but we can promote our produce as Welsh and of a high welfare standard farmed on environmentally friendly holdings.

Several Welsh Assembly members attended NFU Cymru Council in January and explained that, at the moment, ministers in all departments of Welsh Government are working hard to plan for a ‘No deal’. Mark Drakeford, the new First Minister, told us that he proposes, post-Brexit, to ring fence agriculture money from the UK, but it is not clear if Wales will get the same amount that comes from the EU at present. We also received a presentation from a Welsh Government representative, who talked about the intention of Welsh Government to keep farmers in business post-Brexit through a stable and meaningful public goods payment. They said they recognise all farms are different and want a new Welsh agricultural policy to be fair to all, including tenants. BPS will remain until at least 2020 and then be phased out. Welsh Government is producing an independent summary of the consultation responses for ‘Brexit and Our Land’ and will be undertaking modelling and analysis of proposed public goods schemes. They will produce another more detailed consultation to be launched before the Royal Welsh Show.

On a lighter note it is the Big Farmland Bird Count this week, February 8 - 17, which the NFU is sponsoring. If you are interested, download your count sheet at www.bfbc.org.uk then spend 30 minutes, preferably early in the day, counting the birds at one particular site on the farm, then submit your results.

Montgomeryshire NFU Cymru is delighted to be sponsoring the Montgomeryshire YFC County Entertainment Festival again this year. It will take place from February 26 to March 2 in the Hafren Theatre. Good luck to all the clubs.