by Ben Nuelle
Post Brexit, a British farmer says in the short term profitability is good but uncertainty with trade remains.
Jake Freestone manages a 4,000-acre row crop farm two hours west of London.
He grows wheat, oilseed rape, winter and spring barley, peas, salad onions and potatoes.
Freestone says the biggest challenge after Brexit is not knowing the future of trade in their country.
“Profitability short term because the pound has devalued, has actually increased. I think wheat is up 30 pounds a ton and oilseed rape’s up 50 or 60 pounds a ton so it has been quite beneficial.”
Freestone says looking at long term is different.
“Long term, I’m concerned if we do not get a good trade deal with the rest of the World, we’ll revert to World Trade Organization rules and regulations and that could mean tariffs which could be difficult for exporting cereals and lamb which are our two main sale commodities.”
He adds another challenge compared to the U.S. is their government requires UK farmers to grow at least three crops to help with soil health.
Freestone participated in a Global Farmer Roundtable at the World Food Prize in Des Moines in early October.