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NFUS and AIC harvest 2021 meeting: haulage, storage, and sampling

Blog by Willie Thomson, Combinable Crops Chair, NFUS

We had our annual NFU Scotland and AIC harvest meeting in early August. This is an opportunity to share information, discuss a wide range of issues affecting both our members, and identified areas where we can work together. With the growing conditions we’ve had this year there might be not much time between different crops being ready to cut, and a short and very busy harvest. If lots of grain comes in at the same time then there could be some logistical challenges, and early communication between farm businesses and the grain trade can help manage and mitigate them.

NFU Scotland are urging our members to have a conversation with their grain buyers to highlight and discuss any concerns they have this harvest, especially relating to grain haulage and storage. Lorry driver shortages within the wider economy have been widely reported. It is important that businesses work together to figure out how to mitigate any impacts a lorry driver shortage could have on the grain trade in the next few months. It is also important that NFU Scotland members plan for any delays to grain uplift this season, considering where their grain can be stored and speaking to neighbours who might have spare storage space.

Both NFU Scotland and AIC are keeping a watching eye on the lorry driver situation and will be engaging with government and others to address this difficult and complex situation. As membership organisations they are most effective at identifying problems and coming up with solutions when they have information from members to hand. Both organisations want their members to provide information about the haulage and logistical issues they are facing, so please get in touch with any examples.

Brexit, Covid, and a lack of new people entering the haulage sector have all contributed to the problem. Finding longer term solutions will not be straight forward. But this harvest there are things that can be done, and both NFU Scotland and AIC will work together to identify them and use their influence to push for them to happen.

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