THIS WEEK IN 1974: Farmers warn of production cutbacks

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Hampshire farmers warned the government that serious cutbacks in food production were inevitable unless they were paid better prices.

From the annual meeting of the Hampshire branch of the National Farmers’ Union in Winchester, a telegram was sent to the prime minister demanding immediate action in a forthcoming price review.

Ted Heath was told it was the only way to prevent ‘further retrenchment in food production’.

County NFU secretary WJ Keelleyside said: ‘Farmers are getting back less than the cost of production on all livestock.

‘For example, there is a loss of £6 on every pig.

‘They are losing on every gallon of milk because the price was pegged by the government two years ago.’

Since 1972 there had been two wage increases, bank interest charges had doubled, the price of fuel and cost of rent had increased, along with the cost of medicines.

However, the price paid for beef was the same and much less than it cost the farmer to produce according to Mr Keelleyside.

He added: ‘Can you wonder the farmers are demanding immediate action?’