Latest farming opinions

NEWS

Opinion: Scots government must show its hand on policy reform

It could be argued that farming is something of a gambler’s profession, placing large bets without any certainty of an outcome. This could be as basic as planting that crop…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Return of events highlights arable sector split

This week saw the return of the Cereals event in Lincolnshire.It took place just a week after Groundswell in Hertfordshire, which is also primarily for arable farmers. Separated by just…

NEWS

Opinion: We should learn from history on food security

It is now beyond doubt that the government is set to encourage imports of cheap food into Britain virtually free of tariffs or standards of production. This, the argument goes,…

NEWS

Opinion: Satellite mapping will help better land use polices

The swollen tide of fluorescent yellow from oilseed rape is quickly receding, with UK production falling to its lowest level in 15 years. Recent history - particularly the example of…

NEWS

Opinion: Consumers will always favour outdoor dairying

The BBC’s Countryfile programme recently featured a fully-housed, high-yielding dairy herd in Northern Ireland which is fed on a zero-grazing system. I tuned in because I’m always interested to see…

NEWS

FW opinion: Post-BPS sums need doing sooner rather than later

We are all by now aware that farmers in England are set to see dramatic reductions in their farm subsidy payments over the next few years, but how big an…

NEWS

Opinion: Beware the shift in lobbying tactics by activists

Recent protests by animal rights protestors outside McDonald's distribution centres marked an interesting change in tactics, insofar as the arguments they were putting forward to justify their actions were almost…

NEWS

Opinion: Clarkson will have us shouting at the TV screen

It could be said that humanity can be roughly divided into two camps; those who prefer Chris Packham to Jeremy Clarkson, and those who prefer big Jezza to Mr Springwatch.…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Angst over trade deals has only just begun

Jocular elbow bumps and a dinner of Welsh lamb and Australian wine marked the meeting between Boris Johnson and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison to seal the new free-trade deal…

NEWS

Opinion: Under-pressure farmers face 'Mission Impossible'

Your mission, farmers, should you choose to accept it, is to do battle on a daily basis with a rapidly changing climate that is turning any form of weather forecasting…

NEWS

Opinion: Nothing to fear from free-trade deal with Australia

Fiona Simson is the president of Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation. Here she argues that there is more that unites us than divides us when it comes to agriculture and trade…

NEWS

Opinion: Queen's jubilee is best excuse to plant more trees

Last week was national hedgerow week. Our blackthorn and hawthorn have been in resplendent flower to mark the occasion. This celebration of hedges is part of Close the Gap –…

FLINDT ON FRIDAY

Flindt on Friday: A series of unfortunate Sunday events

Some Sundays, it’s better to stay in bed. Take the one just before the second May bank holiday. There was still a huge heap of fungicide in the spray store,…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Will new green scheme be recipe for disaster?

There is a moment when making many dishes where you can see the parts combine to become something greater than the individual ingredients – like a white sauce. Suddenly, you…

NEWS

Opinion: Don't let buzzwords put you off farming change

At his inaugural address in 1933, US president Franklin D Roosevelt proclaimed: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”…

NEWS

Opinion: Lump-sum exit scheme complexity will limit uptake

I’m sure Defra meant well when it came up with the idea of paying older farmers in England – who apparently can’t or won’t adapt to greener farming methods –…

FLINDT ON FRIDAY

Flindt: Say what you will, low inputs mean low outputs

Name calling: it’s not big, and it’s not clever. Luckily, after a lifetime being fat, ugly and ginger, I’m immune to it. And I’ll need all that immunity because, once…

NEWS

FW Opinion: Farming's time in spotlight should be cherished

Who will do more to advance the cause of British farming this year – Minette Batters or Jeremy Clarkson? Both take the view that British agriculture is more maligned than…

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