Rattus thought the meeting of farmers in the Welshpool market last Thursday exceptional. There was real anger at the Welsh Government about the Sustainable Farming Scheme. 

As it is nearly 8 years since the 2016 referendum when we decided we were leaving the EU you would have thought they could come up with something better as well as sooner.  

They say they are consulting but it is really a take it or leave it deal.  Welsh farmers are minded to leave it.  This is despite net farm income for most farms in Wales being lower than their Basic Payment Scheme cheque’s.  

SFS is over complicated and with so many obligations probably for so little money it is frankly insulting to farmers.


The required 10% habitat and 10% tree cover will exclude many farmers and be a subject of endless disputes and there is almost no recognition that farmers actually produce food. 

Rattus awaits with interest how this evolves. He notes that the Welsh Government has already pinched some of the agriculture budget and is now trying to also use what’s left to meet climate change obligations.  

Rattus suspects that when they are finally published the payments offered will be less generous than the Environmental Land Management scheme in England.

Rattus also suspects that too much of the agriculture budget is being wasted on IT systems and compliance officers and bureaucrats in Cardiff and is not going to farmers.

County Times:

Food supply is a strategic issue. We need it locally produced.  We learnt that lesson the hard way in the last war and were reminded during Covid. Our farmers can never compete in world markets.  Their costs are too high.  We will never get them to preserve biodiversity unless we pay them for it. Switzerland is not in the EU so it can subsidize its farmers paying them loads of money but making sure they look after biodiversity.  They are not allowed bought in supplementary feed for a start.

We need to treasure our farmers and treat them with respect. They work ridiculously hard and are always at risk from collapsing markets. They are also the mainstay of the economy of mid Wales. Lorry drivers, vets, teachers and auctioneers don’t have jobs without farmers. As for rewilding: leave a field ungrazed for 20 years and you will struggle to walk through it. 
Rattus rattus