All articles about Opinion

Read our farming columnists’ views beyond the agricultural news headlines. See what they make of farm policy and the big stories of the day on topics from Brexit and food security to farm subsidies and pesticide use. Matthew Naylor, Charlie Flindt and Will Evans are among our regular writers.



Flindt on Friday: Badgers have gone and we're clear of TB

You may find this hard to believe, but we have actually done a bit of farming recently, in among the rain, frost, snow and the endless rows with the RPA…


Will's Way: Three-wheeled muck trailer and a mad motorist

In his latest farm update, ex-Sky reporter-turned-farmer Will Sargent reports on new arrivals on the farm, an unforeseen breakdown and more shooting success. One of the problems with being a…


Will’s Way: Shooting success and fury at fly-tippers

In this update, ex-Sky presenter-turned-farmer Will Sargent attempts to fight a flurry of fly-tipping on his farm, while getting to grips with organising the local shoot – and he steps…


Will's Way: New baby, kit breakdowns and back to college

The girls are taking over. My second daughter Siena arrived safely on 24 September and now I’m outnumbered by three to one. I’ve never lived with so many women before…

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Opinion: 'Let them eat bacon,' says David Alvis

Embarrassing as it may be, I am something of a fan of “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here!” Bizarrely, I never seem to tire of watching C-list celebs…


Opinion: None the wiser on post-EU farm support

To the Farmers Club in Whitehall to hear farms minister at Defra (and famous Eurosceptic) George Eustice deliver a talk. As recently as February, Mr Eustice was promising the NFU…

Succession planning: Not easy, but essential

My father and I have finally tackled the thorny matter of succession. I can’t see why most farmers make such a fuss about it – it barely took us a…

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Opinion: What are we allowed to eat these days?

Even by recent standards of confused and contradictory reported advice on healthy eating, it has been a bumper couple of weeks. A glance through the papers and the news channels…

Opinion: What about us English beef and sheep farmers?

The Scots are for it and threatening to make an independence issue of it. I am referring, of course, to the Scottish government’s determined campaign to persuade first Brussels and…

OPINION: From high-tech IT to low-tech skittles

Technology is both the bane and saviour of my life. My horrible children laugh like drains at my inability to grasp the difference between Snapchat and Instagram – one apparently…

Opinion: Farmers' moral compass can fight critics

A change of leader is always seen as an opportunity to reflect. It doesn’t matter if it is the prime minister or the publican at the Goat and Boots, when…

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Opinion: New Agriculture Bill opens up a world of possibilities

In May, during the Health and Harmony consultation, I set out my hopes for the new Agricultural Bill in this column. These were that area payments would be phased down…


Opinion: Time to end dependence on glyphosate

After many adventures in space, time and the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, Ford Prefect updates the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy entry for Earth – from “harmless”…


Opinion: Red meat and milk - the key to a healthier lifestyle

With the possible exception of tobacco, heroin and handguns, few products have had to endure a level of opprobrium, in recent years, as great than that directed at red meat…


Opinion: No need for farmers to fear life after Brexit

As Brexit approaches, the volume from those who oppose the democratic decision of this nation to leave the European Union gets louder and louder. We’ve heard a lot from two…

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Will's Way video: New baby, ploughing and pigeon patrol

In his latest update, ex-Sky News reporter-turned farmer Will Sargent talks through a hectic time on the farm cultivating land, protecting oilseed rape crops from pigeon damage and getting ready…


Will's Way video: Pigeons, muckspreading and paperwork

In his latest update, ex-Sky-reporter-turned farmer Will Sargent recounts battles with airborne pests, demolition work and even a bit of harvesting in March. Watch his video diary, see the farm…

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