I've had several sheep farmers on the telephone today. Prices are on the floor. I've sold 221 speckled faced yearlings this morning for an average of £37 each. They were nice sheep, and in another year would have averaged £50 each. In Welshpool last Monday, fat lambs averaged about 75 p/kg instead of the 100p/kg it would have been reasonable to expect. I was taking home over 100 p/kg 15 years ago. And no-one is expecting things to improve until the unnecessarily strict regulations governing export of lambs are changed. The only person in Wales who is in a position to apply some pressure in Elin Jones, the Assembly Government Minister.
Even though I'm not in a position to raise the issue on the floor of any parliament at the moment, I have promised to meet a group of farmers at Welshpool at 9.00 next Mon. morning to discuss things. And another group are trying to put together a farmers rally at the Royal Welsh Showground next Thursday. I've said I'll speak if they want as President of the Campaign for Protection of Rural Wales. CPRW does not want to see an industry that underpins the rural economy losing money and people. The farmers I'm particularly worried about are those who are not sufficiently well established to survive a year when they make a loss. The position is so dire that I cannot think of a single joke that I can link to this post.