Latest farming opinions

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Opinion: Farming will suffer hugely when BPS is taken away

The latest farm business income survey of Scotland challenges the preferred view of agriculture by the UK government in Westminster that farmers in post-Brexit Britain can look forward to a…

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FW Opinion: Would it kill you to not ask for help?

Farming is a dangerous job. There is simply no getting around it. I have recently returned to London after spending two weeks at home during lambing and calving season. It…

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Opinion: Looking for balance with split block-calving

As we move towards the annual peak of British milk production, I find myself asking, what does the future hold for spring block-calving herds in the UK? As a new…

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Opinion: We're having the wrong debate about the AHDB

After the recent debacle over the vote on the AHDB horticulture and potato levies, and with more votes to come in 2022, many questions were raised about how to judge…

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Opinion: The pros and cons of virtual farming events

The Sentry Farming Conference should have celebrated its 29th birthday last month. For the past three decades, about 500 delegates from all over the UK have descended on East Anglia…

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FW Opinion: Pig sector needs more than kind words from Defra

Good news seems to be in abundance at the moment when it comes to Covid-19. The vaccine campaign continues to forge ahead, hospitalisations and deaths are in decline and, from…

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Opinion: Catching Covid highlighted our lack of preparedness

Last month, I managed to contract Covid-19 and, while feeling much better now, I still have limited energy. I need a lie-down after hoovering a room and if I have…

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Opinion: Reform needed to make farm tenancies fit for purpose

Almost all Defra’s policy statements for the past few years have stressed the department’s desire to improve the environment and the need for sustainability. These are laudable aims with which…

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FW Opinion: Farmers must be proactive in the face of change

As the old adage goes, “the one constant in life is change” – so the current upheaval facing British agriculture should come as little surprise. Of course, change can be…

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Opinion: EU's risk-adverse approach disadvantaged farming

While  the government’s overall handling of the Covid-19 pandemic could, with the benefit of hindsight, be described as something of a “curate’s egg”, its performance with regard to the rollout…

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Opinion: Market ‘presence’ essential for growing dairy expor...

While we ended up with probably the best deal possible from Brexit, the early days of our new trading arrangements with the EU have seen the use of non-tariff barriers…

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Opinion: Memories of foot-and-mouth still haunt 20 years on

Usually when I sit to write this piece I strive to look forward, highlighting issues or opportunity’s and attempting to be as constructive as possible. This week, however, I’m going…

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FW Opinion: The chips are down for AHDB Potatoes

If you’re gazing down at this column after eating a Friday night tea of steak and chips, you might reflect on the fact that both were subject to an AHDB…

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Opinion: Ability, not gender, is everything in farming

A few days after our fourth daughter was born, and still with that uniquely joyous spring in my step that comes from having a new baby in a family, I…

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Opinion: Why I'm wary of labelling farming systems

Geography lessons at Clacton Grammar were a mixed bag which occasionally caught my adolescent imagination. One lesson that stays with me several decades later was about farming. “Agriculture,” explained our…

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FW Opinion: Farming emerges stronger after a difficult year

The first time the word "coronavirus" was mentioned in Farmers Weekly was on 2 March 2020 in a story about the International Agriculture Show in Paris closing a day early.…

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Opinion: Low prices make it hard to meet new water rules

What have Russia’s actions in Ukraine got to do with the poor state of rivers in this country? I’ll come back to that later, but first let us consider the…

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Opinion: Red meat is back in, so let's engage with consumers

The Covid pandemic has a quiet hero – red meat. During lockdown, people have turned to red meat to keep kids fed through home schooling, to comfort them with hearty…

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