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From the editor: Have a great Christmas and a truly extraordinary year

Today (December 21) is Winter Solstice and means it is all up from here, with lengthening days and a positive inkling that comes after the shortest day.


Ben   Briggs

Ben   Briggs

True, there is a lot of winter yet to come, but it is always a time of year to look forward with hope while, at the same time, reflecting on the year which has passed.

 

And what an unbelievable year it has been.

 

The erratic weather patterns of 2018 have tested the resolve and planning of farmers across the country, with many in certain geographical areas still chronically short of feed and bedding before turning out time comes around.

 

The lack of any recognisable spring and the months of prolonged heat came as a shock, although weather patterns in autumn returned to a semblance of normality.

 

Whether this is a sign of things to come is anyone’s guess, but it has played into the hands of those who have sought to attack agriculture, with the farming industry taking much of the blame from certain quarters for rising C02 emissions.


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It shows why, going into 2019, we as an industry need to be unified and coherent in our message about the benefits agriculture brings, be that the environmental goods it provides, the key role it plays in landscape preservation or, and this is something a well-fed population seems to have forgotten, the fact that without farmers there is no food.

 

The past year has also been one in which moments of history have been very tangible, especially associated with the Brexit mess and implosion of the political system at Westminster.

 

How future generations judge this period will be fascinating, but the key for now is ensuring we secure a deal in 2019 that aids agriculture, not hurts it. The stakes are bigger for British farming than at any time since the end of World War II.

 

Now, though, is a time for relaxation and hopefully not too much Brexit chat over the Christmas dinner table.

 

At Farmers Guardian, we continue to appreciate your support and hope you all have a very merry and enjoyable Christmas.

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