Join Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs, and Head of News and Business Olivia Midgley, for weekly thought-provoking and lighthearted debate around the key issues affecting farming, food and the countryside right now.
As a farmer who took part in the UK Government’s genetically modified (GM) crop farm-scale evaluation trials 20 years ago, and as a passionate advocate of the importance of genetic innovation to healthier and more sustainable food production, I read your article ‘The term ‘gene editing’ is confusing consumers’ (FG, July 26) with an uneasy sense of deja vu and a concern that we must learn from past mistakes.
Put in layman’s terms, an agricultural common is an area of land which has an owner, usually described as The Lord of the Manor, who doesn’t farm it but allows another farmer to graze it if they have either bought the right to graze it when they bought his/her farm, or else pays for the right via the tenancy of the farm he/she farms.
The Red Tractor farm assurance scheme is something which often crops up in conversation in my day-to-day work, in much the same way the Rural Payments Agency does; usually in a way where the farmer vents to me about the organisation and its staff.
The Government was right to make provision for a temporary and limited derogation for the use of the neonicotinoid seed treatment Cruiser SB on sugar beet for the 2021 season, although the colder conditions of recent months mean it will not be required this year.
The Welsh Government has formed a new cabinet after the recent election and I found some of the appointments interesting and slightly concerning, especially around the portfolios that affect this industry.
Farmers capture carbon for a living. We must be part of the solution to climate change. What’s more, as well as saving the planet, we might be able to earn a few quid in the process. But a frenzy of opportunistic corporate ’greenwashing’ is putting all that at risk.
The poster covered the whole rear window of the hatchback. ‘I back the farmers’, it declared. Sat at a traffic light in north London, my heart skipped a beat. Alas, looking closer, they didn’t mean us.
It is great to see our oystercatchers, lapwings and curlews have all returned in the past few weeks as the season gradually changes from winter to spring, and hopefully the next to return will be the cuckoo and the swallows.