Visit the UK’s leading indoor agricultural event, with eleven packed halls of the very latest in agricultural machinery and equipment. Now at the NEC, Birmingham this is free to attend and free to park.
Many people might be tempted to avoid the advent election, but a potential shortage of pigs in blankets should remind us how our everyday lives are affected by Brexit and get us out the door to vote, says Isle of Wight farmer Matt Legge.
The real threat to agriculture is not Brexit negotiations, but the fact that Ministers and industry representatives don’t listen to farmers’ concerns about rock-bottom farmgate prices, says Cornish lamb and beef farmer Rona Amiss.
2019 has been a wonderful growing season, so I have no concerns about food shortages, whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not, says Neil Farmer, an arable and sheep farmer from the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.
Over the next 30 years, farmers will have to produce more food for more people with fewer resources. This is a huge challenge, and much more important than Brexit, says Cambridgeshire Fens farmer Tom Clarke.
The Government’s package to protect ag in a no-deal Brexit proves Ministers expect it to have a big impact, but farmers can only hope the size of the hit has been accurately assessed, says Matt Legge, a livestock farmer from the Isle of Wight.
If some of the energy focused on a second remain campaign over the past three years had been channelled into achieving the best outcome, then our preparedness for a ’no-deal’ would be much further advanced, says County Armagh beef farmer John Henning.
If everyone could come together to propose a way forward instead of wishing the clocks could be turned back, we could find ourselves leading the way in terms of innovation, says David Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
The Government is pushing for a new ag policy which trumpets the benefits of rewilding, zip-lining and vintage steam-engine rallies without recognising the importance of food production. It is a recipe for disaster, says Leicestershire arable and beef farmer Joe Stanley.
Farmers who voted leave will not change their minds about the EU, and have confidence in UK agriculture to deliver food and environmental benefits outside the CAP, says County Armagh beef farmer John Henning.
Many farmers are already diversifying ahead of Brexit, but the UK needs to take this opportunity to totally reshape the industry - by legalising marijuana, says Dave Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
With farmers set to enter a new agricultural scheme after Brexit, now is the time to start proving the environmental work they do provides value for money, says Martin Lines, chairman of the Nature Friendly Farming Network.
It is remarkable that after all the warnings from the NFU, and even leaver Michael Gove, about how a no-deal Brexit will affect agriculture, some farmers are clamouring for it, says Leicestershire arable and beef farmer Joe Stanley.
Farmers are in for a Brexit storm, but the UK’s world-leading work on food traceability and animal welfare will give them the strength to weather it until the sun shines again, says Matt Legge, a sheep, beef and pig farmer from the Isle of Wight.
Focusing on food production at the expense of the environment is a mistake, because our food supply can only be secure with healthy soils and pollinators, says Martin Lines, chairman of the Nature Friendly Farming Network.
Whether the UK gets a Brexit deal or not, farmers will eventually end up with roughly the same outcome because markets will still be there, argues Neil Farmer, an arable and sheep farmer from the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.
UK farmers are already over-regulated and allowing cheaper food imports to flood in after Brexit would make them unable to compete, says Ted Trewella, a new entrant sheep farmer from Aberystwyth, Wales.
The Brexit process is like rafting down a river with lots of obstacles to be navigated. But unlike most white water rafting trips, the cox, there to steer the raft to calmer waters, has fallen overboard, says Cheshire dairy farmer Phil Latham.
Farmers are used to dealing with uncertainty related to the weather, disease and politics. The Brexit challenge is no greater than any other we have faced, says John Henning, County Armagh beef farmer, Nuffield Scholar and former banker.
This year’s weather has shown exactly why Government must continue to financially support the agricultural sector, says Perthshire arable farmer and chair of NFU Scotland’s combinable crops committee Ian Sands.
Most farmers would struggle to name five areas where British agriculture is world-class, but with the right support, UK farming can match the Netherlands on food exports, says arable farmer and NFU Sugar Board member Tom Clarke.
The Chequers agreement is not a sensible Brexit compromise for agriculture because it keeps all the downsides of EU membership while limiting the upsides of leaving, says Sam Goddard, an arable farmer from north west Essex.
The England football team is young, vibrant and has more opportunity to reach its full potential than it has in more than 50 years. Staffordshire beef and arable farmer Richard Bower says Brexit puts the agricultural industry in much the same position.
Farmers cannot control the decisions politicians make on Brexit, but they can control how well-prepared their businesses are for any upcoming change, says Sarah Allison, Carnwath hill farmer and NFU Scotland next generation vice chair.
The inflexibility of current agri-environment schemes has prevented farmers from properly catering for wildlife, says Martin Lines, Cambridgeshire arable farmer. Government must not make the same mistakes post-Brexit.
Farmers’ futures are in the hands of politicians as far as Brexit is concerned, Perthshire arable farmer and chair of NFUS combinable crops committee Ian Sands says. It’s time they got on with the job of getting us the right deal.
Cirencester farmer James Wright, who keeps 300 New Zealand Romney ewes and 6 million Black Soldier flies for animal feed, explains why he has considered selling his flock in the face of Brexit uncertainty.
If the Welsh Government drops its ‘sore loser syndrome’ and puts its energy into working constructively with the UK, Brexit could the best opportunity ever for agriculture, says David Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
Brexit and the Irish beef protests are driven by populist ideas, but they both prove populism rarely gives the results it promises, says Eamon Cassells, a young beef farmer from County Meath in Ireland.
People might not want to go to the polls in the cold and dark, but getting a resolution to the Brexit question is the only way to end this Winter of Discontent, says David Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
The lack of intellect, empathy, integrity and the sheer un-remarkability of the talent on display in this Government goes a long way to explaining where we with Brexit, says Leicestershire arable and beef farmer Joe Stanley.
The official ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ website might tell me I’m already prepared for our impending exit from the EU, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion this might not be quite right, says Cambridgeshire Fens farmer Tom Clarke.
Food shortages and price rises have brought down many a regime, so our Government will fight to keep food cheap after a no-deal Brexit, no matter what the consequences for UK agriculture, says Cheshire dairy farmer Phil Latham.
Theresa May is on her way out of Number 10, but Michael Gove should stay at Defra to give the UK agriculture industry some much-needed stability, says Martin Lines, UK chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network.
Not too long ago, farmers were praying for rain, but now surveying our flattened crops and flooded fields, we’re wishing we hadn’t prayed quite so hard. There’s a lesson to be learned here about pushing for a no-deal Brexit, says arable farmer Tom Clarke.
During his visits to the UK and Ireland this week, President Trump promised a ‘phenomenal’ US-UK trade deal, but farmers should question who exactly will benefit from it, says Eamon Cassells, a young beef farmer from County Meath in Ireland.
If the RPA doesn’t start paying farmers on time, they won’t have confidence in the post-Brexit ELMS scheme – leaving it doomed to failure, says Lynette Steel, adviser at the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA).
Our politicians are never going to agree on Brexit, so how about we have a sporting showdown to solve the problem once and for all, says Neil Farmer, an arable and sheep farmer from the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.
I started the year as a new beef farmer cautiously optimistic about my post-Brexit future, but our politicians have made us a global laughing stock in the meantime, says Rob Drysdale, from West Sussex.
Policy wonks at the Adam Smith Institute are calling for all food tariffs to be unilaterally dropped in a no-deal Brexit, but their hero would not have supported such a move, says arable farmer and NFU Sugar Board member Tom Clarke.
Anti-Brexit ‘big business’ should recognise the 17.4m people who voted to leave are their customers, who do not appreciate democracy being turned on its head, says John Henning, County Armagh beef farmer, Nuffield Scholar and former banker.