YOU'D forgive Guarlford farmer Geoffrey Bott for thinking the turkeys he has successfully farmed for some thirty years might just help bring his family bit of seasonal cheer.

But after a miserable 2001 the few hundred birds he has reared for Christmas Day dinner plates will do little to put a smile back on his face.

"It's the same old thing, you have to do it all yourself and the margins have got tighter," said Mr Bott, who runs Whitehouse Farm.

"When I first produced turkeys back in 1960 a 12lb bird cost you £1.25/£1.50 to rear and you sold it for £3 - you more or less doubled your money. Now the margins are very much reduced.

"I think I must be mad. Any farmer's mad if you look at the economics of it."

Mr Bott lays much of the blame at the hands of supermarkets who he claims buy off farmers and quadruple prices, whether it be turkeys or the sprouts that go with them.

He added: "I would seriously consider farming at all in the future - There's a lot of farmers locally in a terrible state."