Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: Grass-fed beef has so much to recommend it

A friend has recently completed her 34th season of plucking, cleaning and dressing poultry in the turkey shed – quite an achievement for someone who has only just hit 50.…

NEWS

Opinion: The shock and sadness at rural suicide

I was going to write about something else entirely this month. I’d almost finished and was ready to send it in. And then, completely out of the blue, and just…

NEWS

Opinion: Farmers must keep an open mind on the vegan challenge

Humanism, veganism and same-sex marriage would seem like very stony ground for a livestock farmer and kirk elder to go ploughing in so early in the new year. Although I…

NEWS

Opinion: Time to engage with the vegan moderates

A new year, and Brexit continues to consume the nation’s collective headspace.  And why wouldn’t it? It is a seismic political change that will take a decade or more to…

NEWS

Opinion: Brexit has made us a laughing stock around the world

It is traditional in the first issue of a New Year for columnists to attempt to predict the future. This is challenging in any year particularly as printing schedules require…

NEWS

Opinion: Life after Brexit will bring familiar challenges

With Brexit now just three months away, EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan explains that, while the policies may start to diverge, the challenges facing UK and EU farmers have much…

NEWS

Opinion: 2018 - a year in the life of an NFU officeholder

As 2018 draws to a close, it feels it’s been a rather over-earnest year. But with my Twitter account acting as a diary come aide-memoir, here are 12 of the…

OPINION

Opinion: Government must help deal with volatile weather

The year 2018 has been one of meteorological extremes, not just in the UK but globally. It began with what seemed like a never-ending winter, with the “Beast from the…

NEWS

Opinion: Don't count on farmers to always vote Tory, Mr Gove

In this space 12 months ago I appealed to Defra secretary Michael Gove not to leave UK agriculture as a broken rung on the ladder as he climbed back to…

NEWS

Opinion: British wildlife – the thing dreams are made of

I was in a bookshop, waiting while my wife browsed for a book she can carefully read on the train, then wrap up and give to a friend for Christmas.…

NEWS

Opinion: How we should tackle decline in milk sales

The rise of soya, oat and almond “milks” has dominated media discussion about the future of cow’s milk. But the biggest challenge is not veganism, but that milk does not…

NEWS

Opinion: The changing ways of practical farm management

I grew up doing a lot of manual work and so it astounds me how much of my job I am now able to do away from the farm. I…

OPINION

Opinion: Farming becoming the sacrificial victim of Brexit

I have done what I can on this farm to get “Brexit-ready”.  My shepherd has gone, my livestock numbers have been significantly reduced and I am trying to imagine my…

NEWS

Opinion: One chance to get it right with environment scheme

The government is working on plans for a new Environmental Land Management system (ELMs), which it hopes will bring thousands of farmers back to agri-environment schemes after a slump following…

NEWS

Opinion: Farming losing out in classroom to green propaganda

This September, my younger son Harry moved up from primary to secondary school, beginning an exciting new chapter in his life while at the same time providing his ageing father…

OPINION

Opinion: Developing a life plan is a SMART move

I’ve just returned from a course in Ireland on strategic management. As a new mum of two, I must admit the thing I was most looking forward to was two…

NEWS

Opinion: Don't delay, invest for a post-Brexit future now

Our sector is entering a time of major change, but with little detail about what that change will mean for agriculture and land management in practice. Is now really the…

NEWS

Opinion: Delivering public goods still stacks up

I sat next to an MP at dinner recently. Half way through a rather sticky pomegranate crumble, he said: “I don’t understand why you capitulated and took the ‘public goods’…

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