July arrived with a splash and the first Saturday was particularly wet with the lower Dyfi Valley flooding, causing all sorts of problems, writes Hugh Besent.

Livestock had to be moved to high ground, but worst of all was the contamination of grass destined for silage. Dirty grass made into silage can often lead to listeria, poisoning in cattle and can be fatal. We are all now hoping for a dry, settled spell to get on with the silage and hay making.

Within the dairy sector, Defra in conjunction with the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Governments have opened a consultation on milk supply contracts. It is long overdue.

It cannot be right that a milk buyer can have the exclusive rights to a producer’s milk then turn around and either refuse to collect and market it, or tell you to reduce supply below what was contracted.

At present many milk producers have supply contracts that greatly benefit the buyer and leave the farmer having to be the flexible link in the chain.

There needs to be a sharing of the risks in all parts of the milk industry. NFU Cymru will be seeking members’ views on the way forward, and I ask members to get in touch with myself or other county delegates for more information.

As an industry, I do believe that we should have our say on more areas that affect our future viability. So many things are thrust upon us without real consultation. I would urge the Welsh Government to engage in cost benefit analysis with respect to the Farming Connect Programme. In 2018 Menter a Busnes was supported to the tune of over £6 million to deliver the programme. Then in 2019, Menter a Business received £11.3 million – an increase of about 90 per cent.

In an answer to a question from Llyr Gruffydd MS, on July 2, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths MS said the total budget for 2015-22 for Farming Connect will be over £46 million. If future farm support is to be revamped, then it is time that government agencies had the same treatment.