Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: Agriculture was fundamental to victory in WW1

Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele, Gallipoli, Jutland; seminal battles of the First World War, whose names have echoed down the generations and whose combatants are commemorated with reverence on Armistice Day…

NEWS

Opinion: History reveals the folly of dependence on imports

As we approach a red letter Remembrance Day this Sunday (11 November), my thoughts turn to the effect war has had on my own family. Being born in peacetime, I’ve…

NEWS

Opinion: Food for thought from West African adventure

I’m bad at saying no to things. This is how last week I found myself in a mud hut in northern Ghana. I was speaking, via two translators, to a…

NEWS

Opinion: Ruminant sector must do more on antibiotics

Take a bow, UK livestock industry. As chairman of RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture), I would like to congratulate you on your incredible achievements in reducing farm antibiotic…

NEWS

Opinion: Reasons to be cheerful about Ag Bill, if you try

It’s hard being a pessimist. You’ve just settled into a negative frame of mind, when along comes something that makes you think things might get better; even that someone has…

NEWS

Opinion: Time to grow up and change our minds about Brexit

An abiding quality of rational, intelligent people is the ability, when faced with the vicissitudes of life, to calmly and confidently change one’s mind without appearing foolish or losing the…

NEWS

Opinion: Why UK farms can have an edge over New Zealand

Over the past 12 months I have visited numerous farms and agricultural companies involved in the red-meat sector throughout the UK. Other than the top performing farm businesses, I believe…

NEWS

Opinion: Global warming threatens livestock farming as we know i...

These are challenging times for my farm. My main enterprises are beef and sheep, so not only am I extremely dependent on the soon-to-be-reduced-then-disappear-entirely BPS for my livelihood. But I…

NEWS

Opinion: Should I feel optimistic or pessimistic for dairy?

The epic drought of 2018 finally ended, and we have just completed our quarterly budget review to work out the damage from all the additional bought-in feed. In a fortunate…

NEWS

Opinion: Farmers must make the most of positive publicity

Farming gets more than its fair share of media column inches… and most of it is good. We should be proud. Farming has turned things around – it's more revered…

NEWS

Opinion: Standing on the cusp of a 'hands free' revolution

I am one of those people who refuses to use the unmanned aisle at the supermarket. I’ll wait patiently in line to talk to an actual teller at the local…

NEWS

Opinion: History shows we ignore food security at our peril

In English history books, the year 1765 may not loom large, but it was a fateful one for this country. In that year, for the first time, our imports of…

NEWS

Opinion: A second referendum on Brexit makes good sense

A while ago a landowner from the “I’m-alright-Jack-whatever-the-outcome” wing of the Brexiteers asked me breezily what I had to worry about with Brexit. So here it is… As upland beef…

NEWS

Opinion: Looking for breeding traits is a family affair

Two new toys have been purchased for our farm recently. The new stud ram and the new tractor were both much needed and each will play a vital role in…

NEWS

Opinion: Ag Bill ignores views of those it is meant to serve

Like 44,000 other individuals who responded to the Health and Harmony consultation earlier this year, I recently received an email from Defra. It said the department was delighted to announce…

NEWS

Opinion: 3 things that must change for a successful Brexit

Can we make a success of Brexit? Of course we can. Given time, the UK, like any other country, can do what it sets its mind to. But that is…

NEWS

Opinion: History will not look back favourably on Ag Bill

In 1938, Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich declaring “peace for our time”, to popular acclaim. The few publicly dissenting voices to this grand settlement – Churchill included – were considered…

OPINION

Opinion: New Agriculture Bill opens up a world of possibilities

In May, during the Health and Harmony consultation, I set out my hopes for the new Agricultural Bill in this column. These were that area payments would be phased down…

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