Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: Please don't sacrifice East Anglia to tree planting

I went to the Farmers’ Club in Whitehall to listen to Henry Dimbleby, the lead non-executive director at Defra, update us on the development of his National Food Strategy -…

NEWS

FW Opinion: What government must do to help flood-hit farmers

Two issues have dominated the news this week – the general election and flooding. Needless to say, attempts have been made to link the two, with opposition parties quick to…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Liquid milk warning bells ring loud and clear

The lethal combination of retail pricing policies, an oversupplied market and wafer-thin margins all round is making for a very uncertain future for milk producers supplying liquid processors. It’s not…

NEWS

Opinion: Not enough emphasis on profits and food choices

I enjoyed attending the Farmers Weekly Awards once again this year. This featured an added benefit for winners – a Desert Island Discs-type moment of being able to nominate their…

OPINION

FW Opinion: Farmers shouldn't bear full cost of wild weather

Uncertainty in farming is nothing new – whether it's late support payments, commodity price swings, or changing consumer trends. But it seems each year is becoming more of a gamble…

NEWS

Opinion: Society can take environmental concerns too far

So we didn’t leave the European Union yesterday (31 October). But writing this a few days ahead of publication, it is impossible to know what comes next – a further…

NEWS

Opinion: 'Convergence uplift’ - a gift that keeps on giving

It was a cold, arithmetical calculation that determined how much “convergence uplift” cash the UK government received from the European Union in 2013, and it was an even colder calculation…

NEWS

Opinion: Rural Scotland at greatest risk from any Brexit

Michael Russell, Scottish cabinet secretary for government business and constitutional relations, gives his views on how Brexit could affect rural Scotland. It is not often that a map of Scotland…

NEWS

Opinion: Celebrity backing of non-meat diets is hypocritical

A common bear-trap of pseudo-science is confusing correlation with causation; or making convenient, yet unjustified, assumptions about the relationship between distinct phenomena, simply because they appear to co-exist within broadly…

BOVINE TB

FW Opinion: Wider review of slurry role in bovine TB needed

Queen guitarist and animal rights campaigner Brian May has shared with Farmers Weekly in some detail how, working with vet Dick Sibley, he has helped a Devon dairy farm regain…

OPINION

Opinion: Government should learn lessons of neonics ban

The obvious temptation this week is to write about the weather, the Rugby World Cup or politics. The problem is, as this is being written 10 days before you read…

NEWS

Opinion: There's much to learn from the previous generations

I’m not usually one for nostalgia. Yearning for times long gone – when summers were unfailingly long and golden, farmgate prices were always high, politicians were honourable and young people…

OPINION

FW opinion: Pros and cons to 'payment by results' schemes

The findings of Natural England’s “payment-by-results” (PBR) pilot schemes are out and participating farmers in Yorkshire and East Anglia, as well as industry leaders, are feeling encouraged. Defra has already…

OPINION

Opinion: Get engaged to counter the farming myths

Some storms appear suddenly from a clear sky; others escalate over time. The current culture of media-led assaults on food production and farming is, I would argue, a combination of…

OPINION

Opinion: BBC's 'anti-meat' bias taints public opinion

Climate change is perhaps the defining issue of our age. I wouldn’t want any reader to think that I don’t take it seriously, or that I’m not willing to change…

OPINION

Opinion: Here's to 50 years of environment-friendly farming

Back in 1983, Kent farmer Hughie Batchelor got busy clearing woods, trees and hedgerows on the North Downs, to “economically manage his farmland”, as he put it.  He later went…

OPINION

FW opinion: No-deal Brexit - project fear or project reality?

Farmers, it would seem, are as divided as ever when it comes to Brexit. The regular flow of letters and emails into the Farmers Weekly mailbox, and the constant commentary…

OPINION

Opinion: Ag colleges need to balance efficiency with ethics

On a recent visit to Plumpton College in East Sussex (previously known as Plumpton Agricultural College, which tells its own story) for a farm walk, I learned “why there has…

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