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.



Opinion: Would farmers vote 'none of the above'?

Elections are in the news. In India, nearly a billion people are engaged in a lengthy voting process. Earlier this year the Russians re-elected President Putin, and in November the…


Mike Neaverson: New tractor prices make me hanker for old kit

I have about as little interest in new tractors as I do in taking horse riding lessons, or operating a cattery. If a machine has tyres of an adequate dimension…


Opinion: Outdated attitudes make farmers the 'outsiders'

Week after week, we are reminded of how incredible the farming community is. Whether it’s the hundreds who opened their gates for Open Farm Sunday, or fellow farmers supporting tenant…

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…

See all



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…

See all



Editor's View: Industry needs to tackle water issues head on

How should the farming community respond to this week’s news that law firm Leigh Day could bring a multimillion pound legal claim against Avara Foods over its alleged role in…


Analysis: What could Johnson’s departure mean for farmers?

Boris Johnson is yesterday’s man. All eyes now are on who will put themselves forward to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister. Mr Johnson currently seems determined…

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…

See all



Opinion: Red flag will herald changes for farmers

Well, comrades, it’s happened: not only do we have a Labour government, but we have a Labour government with such a huge parliamentary majority that Britain could feel rather like…


Editor's View: Labour is finally out of the waiting room

High up in Defra headquarters, there is a waiting room for guests queuing to see the secretary of state. It is a discreet distance away from the actual office, so…


Opinion: The top four items in new Defra boss's in-tray

Labour’s manifesto contained just 87 words on agriculture. Scant detail, then, for an industry worth more than £30bn/year. So what should Steve Reed, our new Defra secretary, be looking to…


Opinion: Centenary celebrations honour our crofting forebears

A century ago, visitors disembarked a ship alongside Portnalong pier at nightfall and climbed the hill to a new township, where their relations now lived. In the darkness, they saw…

See all



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…

See all