The loss of £50million, or worse, £70m circulating in agri business as a result of AIS going into administration, is an unbelieveable disaster for many and one which will be talked about for generations to come.

To hear of individual farmers losing six-figure sums, with a handful having had multiple six-figure sums ripped from their balance sheets, is incomprehensible when it is difficult enough to make ends meet in any farming sector.

It has only to be hoped that those who can least afford such losses, ie individual hard working farmers, other than the multi-national companies, are considered first when any compensation is paid out. Long-term the industry must look at having farmer co-operatives dealing directly with maltsters and distillers especially when there are only two or three grain merchants controlling the market price.

We've seen the dire consequences of such events happening in the livestock sector in recent years with two auction companies having had a major restructure after being taken to the cleaners.

Lets not allow it to happen again when the industry is already extremely friable. Now is the time, individual farmers and agri-businesses have to seriously consider their trading partners and extending insurance policies.

Defra's dire six months

A good six months have passed since a new trade agreement with the EU commenced and livestock farmers still remain in the dark over future sales with Northern Ireland – a country which remains part of the UK.

Huge confusion is being felt by farmers, auctioneers and breed societies about the now-required Export Health Certificates (EHC) will operate in August, when there aren’t meant to be trading borders. And all this comes at a time when the breeding sheep sales are fast approaching.

It's a time when farmers in North Ireland look to improve their flocks and herds by buying new stock bulls and rams, or breeding females at auction marts in Scotland and south of the Border and vice versa. This time last year, such trading was relatively simple, with the correct paper work veterinary checks.

However, it's a completely different ball game this year – thanks to Defra.

Many sheep farmers in particular have already spent large amounts of money ensuring their animals meet strict health criteria, only to be turned back at the Border, because they don't have the sufficient paperwork.

As a result, this year's breeding sales are likely to be written off in terms of export this year – yet another agri political disaster from Westminster, and one which they don't appear to understand the ramifications of.

It is difficult enough to make farming pay as it is without politicians playing with people's livelihoods.