Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: 'Put down your pitchforks and learn from the USA'

Howdy, folks. Seems like our US ambassador got you mighty vexed about taking a few more food imports from us once you leave the Museum of Agriculture – pardon me,…

NEWS

Opinion: Wake up and smell the reality of Brexit

Two years ago, renowned environmentalist George Monbiot said that our exit from the EU would be as dignified as a drunk getting chucked out of a pub at closing time.…

OPINION

Opinion: Land price collapse 'delayed, but not avoided'

Almost exactly two years ago I wrote in these pages that, in the wake of the EU referendum, farmland prices would fall significantly.  I also pointed out that the self-interested,…

NEWS

Opinion: New approach needed to cut pesticide use

The news is full of stories about declines in insect numbers and the risk that poses for the future of humankind.  Clearly insect decline can’t all be blamed on farmers,…

OPINION

Opinion: How should we best look after our uplands?

There are few more powerful and evocative images of the destructive power of nature than that of a raging forest fire. Harrowing TV footage from California a few months ago…

NEWS

Opinion: Is Februdairy simply preaching to the converted?

Last week marked the end of the second Februdairy. I’ve loved seeing all the tweets – from cute and cuddly calves, to older matriarchs of the herd. High-input systems, low-input…

NEWS

Opinion: Gene editing can lift productivity post Brexit

Defra secretary and Brexiteer Michael Gove was keen to highlight how leaving the EU would free the UK from the “bureaucratic straightjacket of the CAP” during his address to the…

NEWS

Opinion: Do you pass the farming 'straight-face test'?

A phrase often used by farmers who don’t like change is: “But my farm is different.”  Agreed, it is a statement of fact. Blindingly obvious. Every farm is different. They…

NEWS

Opinion: Don't underestimate fall-out from 'no deal' Brexit

The threat to walk away with a "no-deal" Brexit by leading Brexiteers has always seemed to me to be a Bluffy-McBluff-face negotiating ploy. EU negotiators have never really bought it or…

NEWS

Opinion: Time to reward farmers for cutting methane emissions

Here’s a question to ask your environmentally conscious in-laws as you tuck in to the organic-British-roast-beef-with-Yorkshire-pudding option at your local pub: What do the owner of a closed coal-fired power…

NEWS

Opinion: Time to join the Monster Raving Loony Party?

It seems you can’t have an opinion on Brexit. Instead, you have to have a cast iron, line drawn in the sand, position. Either for, or against. Well I’m the…

NEWS

Opinion: Never too old to start a new farm diversification

In May this year (if I’m spared) I will celebrate my 59th birthday. I’m reliably informed that I will then be the average age of a farmworker in the UK.  …

NEWS

Opinion: Weather woes add to Brexit blues for farming

It’s been a dry autumn and winter here in East Anglia and across much of the UK as well. On the one hand it has enabled autumn work on the…

NEWS

Opinion: Approaches to tillage – zealots on both sides

In the 1990s, as a keen young man who thought he knew it all, I persuaded my father to buy a direct drill. Dad was sceptical. He had been there…

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Opinion: Make farm safety part of your daily mindset

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest prosecutions stand as a stark reminder of the attitudes and behaviours that beset the agricultural industry’s safety record. We are still seeing fatal…

NEWS

Opinion: 'Fake news' is undermining British agriculture

Fake news is nothing new. In 333BC, Alexander of Macedon received a letter from Darius III offering him half the Persian empire if he would only call off his invasion.…

NEWS

Opinion: Don't criticise James Dyson for well-earned success

Sir James Dyson received a lot of grief recently for moving his headquarters to Singapore, despite being a prominent Brexiteer and claiming that British exporters would have no problems trading…

NEWS

Opinion: Farm co-ops hold the key in tough post-Brexit market

Post Brexit, UK farming businesses are expected to have less money to spend on inputs as area-based payments are phased out in line with the government’s much-publicised “public goods” yardstick.…

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