DEAR SIR: It is always important to look for ways in which farmers can reduce production costs, and particularly during the current financially challenging times. It is also important to realise that there is a distinct difference between cost-cutting and cost-saving.

Genuine cost-saving measures do not compromise the health and welfare of the farmer or the animals, or the quality of the end product. All of these can suffer, however, when the focus is on cutting costs without due regard to the wider effects on farm economics.