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Farmers should be concentrating on what they can control, writes Alex Black for FG Insight.

Farmers should be concentrating on productivity and efficiency rather Brexit, according to Graham Redman, partner at Andersons Farm Business Consultants.


Speaking at Andersons spring seminar, Mr Redman said businesses still needed to be run while waiting for Brexit.


"We all know agriculture will survive the Brexit storm. It may even come out well," he said.

Control


He said productivity had not been mentioned since we joined the EU but farmers had more control of how productive they were than of profit which is heavily influenced by outside factors.


Farmers should also be concentrating on how they farm, rather than their sector, even though it seemed more difficult to make money from livestock than crops.


"It is noticeable how the variation of performance within sectors is greater than that between sectors," he said.


Agriculture currently makes up 0.6 per cent of GDP and Mr Redman warned this would be what policy makers were considering as they headed to Brussels.


Agriculture, forestry and rural affairs also only account for 2 per cent of rural England's Gross value added.

Economy


"The biggest part of the rural economy is Government services," he said.


However, he said a move to importing all our food would also impact the food manufacturing sector, which could also be moved abroad.


Partner Richard King said Europe restricting trade with the UK might seem like a big act of 'self-harm'.


"But it is a political decision. Politics is always going to win," he said.


He said the European Commission had made it clear the UK could not just 'cherry pick the bits of Europe it likes'.


"They have been explicit the UK must suffer."


He added despite the 'long shadow' Brexit was casting, farmers should worry about what they can do something about.