Popular Lincolnshire farming event Cereals is on this week

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Arable farming event Cereals is on this week at Boothby Graffoe, between Grantham and Lincoln.

During the popular event on Wednesday and Thursday will be displays, exhibits, conferences and more.

One highlight will be a presentation by chartered accountants Duncan & Toplis focussing on the results of a survey of farmers. The firm conducted telephone interviews with 107 agricultural businesses across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.

Of these, 48 per cent said they were more hopeful about the future of UK agriculture in the next 12 months than they were in the previous 12 months.

The survey showed that renewable energy is increasingly being seen as a viable investment opportunity. More than a quarter of farmers surveyed (27 per cent) invested in renewable energy schemes last year, and of those who have not 46 per cent say they are considering doing so this year.

In the dairy sector 72 per cent of farmers are planning to increase the size of their herd in the next 12 months, while the majority of farmers (70 per cent) expect their labour headcount to remain the same in the coming year.

Partner Mark Chatterton said: “This snapshot of the farming sector in our region is encouraging in that it shows that almost half of farmers in the East Midlands are growing more optimistic about the future.

“Given the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, from changing weather patterns to volatility in the commodities markets, it’s pleasing to see a positive outlook from farmers.

“Perhaps the most telling finding of all is that only 39 per cent of farm businesses are looking to expand by purchasing additional land. Most farmers realise that they can grow their business by focusing on existing assets and making them work harder.”

* For more information about Cereals, go to www.cerealsevent.co.uk