David Heath could replace Jim Paice as Farming Minister in one of the more high-profile changes in today's Cabinet reshuffle.
It is being reported that Mr Heath, the Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome, is a likely candidate to take the role as part of a wide-ranging Government shake-up.
Mr Paice was informed he had lost his job as Farming Minister at the Livestock 2012 show in Birmingham, where he had announced a voluntary code of best practice on contracts between milk buyers and dairy farmers, it has been reported.
NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond told Farmers Weekly : “It is a disappointment as Jim (Paice) has been a good friend to the industry.
“He has understood farming and farmers and fought hard on behalf of the industry over the past few years. He understands how European institutions function and I do know he was very effective in negotiations around Europe.
“We are now looking forward to working with the new minister David Heath.
“With bovine TB eradication top of the agenda and the debate around Common Agricultural Policy reform, it is so important that UK farmers are not disadvantaged as CAP decisions are finalised.”