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Leader: Weathering drought and deluge all in a day's work

It seems like only yesterday the industry was counting the cost of the unseasonal start to spring, with ground deluged following incessant rain and thousands of sheep lost to snow drifts several feet high.


Olivia   Midgley

Olivia   Midgley

Fast forward a few weeks and the ground is parched, crops are thirsty and producers across the board are nervous about what the next few weeks, especially harvest time, will bring.

 

Will yields take a hit? Are we likely to see a repeat of fodder and straw shortages? How will farmers’ bottom lines be affected?

 

As our page 1 story shows, these are questions already circling the industry, yet we can only brace ourselves for the ramifications which are likely to ensue.

 

But an ability to farm whatever the weather throws at us is one of the industry’s many strengths. After all, it is nothing we have not seen before.

 

Farming Minister George Eustice (left), talks about the complexities of every farming system, but that the same principles apply, no matter the size or scale of a business.

 

With Brexit on the horizon – and in the face of a changing, unpredictable climate – the adaptability and resilience which is enshrined in our farming sector will help the sector negotiate any storm (or drought).


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FOUR years on from the launch of FG’s Take the Lead campaign and we are finally starting to make some headway in tackling the issue of dog attacks on livestock.

 

At last, the industry is making its voice heard and those with the power to make change are engaging and listening to what we have to say.

 

SheepWatch’s founder is right in that the industry needs to be co-ordinated in its message and, as FG has been doing since 2014, work across the piece to engage with the public and promote responsible dog ownership.

 

It is only by spreading a consistent, coherent message that we will effect change.

 

Rather than simply imitating existing campaigns such as Take the Lead, the farming industry and media publications should form a united front.

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