Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: Minette Batters - a class act on Question Time

Minette Batters and I have both been on BBC Question Time in the past fortnight. Minette graced Buxton in Derbyshire, whereas I made my appearance when it was broadcast in…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Don't let Hollywood big mouths get you down

It has been another rough week for British agriculture, with storm-force winds battering the country on Sunday and Monday, and extra rain thrown in for good measure. Farmers' reflections on…

NEWS

Opinion: Meghan saga - parallels with farm daughters-in-law

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have departed with baby Archie to start their new family life in Canada. While it’s impossible to know exactly why they decided to step…

NEWS

Opinion: Climate change deniers are a threat to farming

I recently commented on Facebook about the Farmers Weekly editorial leader of early January, covering the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests at the Oxford Farming Conference. A few of the comments…

NEWS

Opinion: YouTube satisfies cravings for tractors and football

YouTube is a terrible addiction, and one that is hard to kick.  The reason, of course, is that each time I select a video, a computer algorithm registers my interests…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Wet winter prompts radical rethink on cropping

Britain’s arable farmers are counting the cost of a terrible start to the cropping season, characterised by daily downpours and an absence of drying winter winds. Only eight years ago,…

NEWS

Opinion: Many reasons to be angry as farming takes battering

Has there ever been a time when there was so much farmer anger? There are a number of reasons for it. Let’s examine a few of them. First, the concerted…

NEWS

Opinion: Talking about cow poo has become quite an art form

Mrs McQ and I finally plucked up the courage to start an agri-tourism enterprise a year ago. Starting up a completely new farm attraction is the same as what I…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Farmers need to come out in force at rally

More than three-and-a-half years after the historic referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, Brexit is finally happening. Today (Friday), Union flags will be fluttering from public buildings,…

NEWS

Opinion: Farmers are off the pace in vegan propaganda battle

Quite how the vegan propaganda that has been spewing forth from that erstwhile investor in plant-based meat alternatives, Channel 4, is consistent with their remit to make “a significant contribution…

NEWS

Opinion: Livestock in the rotation is the solution for crops

Purely arable farms belong in the 20th century. We need to see a return to mixed farming where livestock and forage leys form a significant part of the arable rotation.…

NEWS

Opinion: Keep the pressure on Boris Johnson's government

Here’s a Robert Burns quote for Burns Night: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” I thought of this recently when Jake had to cancel all…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Ag Bill - some positives but fails on imports

Wading through 94 pages of civil servant speak, as contained in the new Agriculture Bill, is not for the faint-hearted. All those clauses and subclauses, “may do’s ” and “must…

NEWS

Opinion: Naturalists are your friends

Among the many names in the obituary columns of 2019, that of Marjorie Blamey probably caused little interest, unless you know one of the wildflower books she illustrated. In my…

NEWS

Opinion: Let's not repeat the 'great betrayal' of 1921

In 1917, at the height of the Great War, with 80% of the country’s grain and 40% of its meat being imported from other countries, and with German U-boats taking…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Vegan series is irresponsible and dangerous

It’s Veganuary, so it is hardly surprising that veganism is getting a higher media profile than normal. But this year it does seem to have stepped up a notch, with…

NEWS

Opinion: No room for error with new food and farm policies

According to official statistics, 16% of farms made losses between 2014 and 2017, a quarter (25%) of farming households live below the poverty line, 61% of farm income derives from…

NEWS

Opinion: Farmer input key to get best from post-Brexit regs

There’s a lot of talk about a review of agricultural regulations following Brexit. We’ve been here before, of course. A 2018 report commissioned by then-Defra secretary Michael Gove highlighted there…

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