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Feed shortage crisis on farms

Published on 26 March, 2007, Last updated at 04:58 GMT


Orgainc farmers in South Lakeland, UKcould lose thousands of pounds, if a feed shortage forces them to decertify their produce.

A shortage of organic grain has already pushed wheat prices up to around £300 a tonne, barley to £200 and pulses such as beans to more than £250.

This is because there are not enough organic arable farmers to meet the needs of the growing number of converted livestock farms in Britain.

John Reid, manager of Lowther Park Farms, which supplies produce to a number of South Lakes outlets including Howbarrow Farm Shop (Cartmel), Higginsons Quality Butchers (Grange) and Irvings Quality Butchers (Ulverston), fears he will have to start giving his chicken flock non-organic feed later this year. The farm produces 900 chickens a week and keeps 11,000 chickens on 120 acres.

Mr Reid said: "It is a pretty serious situation. There have been a lot of people going into organic pig and poultry and an increase in demand for feed. Our stock will be de-certified if we use non-organic feed."

This could force him to sell the chickens at a lower price.


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