Mitigating rising costs and building resilience in 2023

Matt Culley

Matt Culley

NFU Combinable Crops Board chair

First published: 30 December 2022

An image of Matt Culley pictured at his farm stodd in front of a tractor

Photograph: Chris Moorhouse 2022

In his New Year message, NFU Combinable Crops Board chair Matt Culley reflects on the positive developments 2022 brought, and looks at the areas for improvement that will allow the sector to realise its ambitions.

Like all sectors, global forces have taken their toll during the past year, many of which we can’t control, and the impact of these is likely to remain important in the next 12 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth remembering there were also some positive developments last year, not least the way new Defra guidance on Farming Rules for Water acknowledges that applying organic manures in the summer and autumn can be done safely, and can bring benefits to crop nutrition and soil health.

However, for manufactured fertiliser, the crisis continues.

Enabling growers to make suitable business decisions

“We’ll be continuing to press for greater transparency in the fertiliser market, which would help put growers in a
position to make decisions that suit their individual businesses”

NFU Combinable Crops Board chair Matt Culley

We’ll be continuing to press for greater transparency in the fertiliser market, which would help put growers in a position to make decisions that suit their individual businesses.

Alongside this, we’ll be calling for policies that help members focus on their nutrient use efficiency and longer term resource use efficiencies.

Helping growers to mitigate rising costs will build resilience into businesses and help net zero ambitions.

Reporting claims and rejections

The NFU intentions survey and harvest surveys that many of you completed help us to build the data to support our asks, and we’d now like growers to use our new ‘Crops Contract Fairness Hub’ to let us know your experience of claims and rejections, especially when you think there’s an element of unfairness involved.

As is the case in every policy area, now more than ever, we need good evidence to press to improve fairness in the supply chain and to explain what happens on farm to policy makers.

We can expect a lot of policy developments covering farm support and plant health.

We’ll be fighting to ensure farm support avoids being too prescriptive or underfunded and that food, feed, fibre, and fuel production is at the heart of policy.

Your President's New Year message

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