BRITAIN’S most powerful farmer, Minette Batters planned visit to Carlisle next month has been cancelled amid concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) president was scheduled to be involved in several organised events, including an open meeting for all members at The Auctioneer at Rosehill, Carlisle, on Friday, April 3.

A spokesperson said the visit would be rescheduled at a date yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, a mass rally for UK agriculture has been postponed amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak, the NFU has confirmed.

The rally, organised by the NFU, was due to take place on Wednesday, 25 March, at the QEII centre in Westminster, London.It would have brought busloads of farmers from across the country, including Cumbria, to central London.

Newly re-elected NFU President Minette Batters said: “In light of the current coronavirus situation, we have taken the decision to postpone our mass rally. We have taken this decision now because of the continued uncertainty regarding the spread of the disease and the size and nature of this particular event.“While necessary, this is of course disappointing news. Our intention is to set another date for the event soon and details of this will follow when they are available.

“However, farmers and the public can rest assured that our campaign to ensure that our standards of food production are not undermined in future trade deals continues.” The rally will highlight the importance of the sector – in terms of high-quality food production, the environment and mitigating climate change.

A beef farmer from Wiltshire, Mrs Batters will serve as President for another two years.