BY JAMIE FOSTER The badger cull could be extended into low risk areas in England where badgers have been connected to outbreaks of TB by the autumn if licences are approved by Natural England. Despite opposition from the Badger Trust and other animal rights groups, Defra under Michael Gove has decided to carry on with the cull as part of the overall strategy to manage … Continue reading Gove Sticking to His Guns
BY BEN EAGLE There are many ways of getting into the farming sector today but if you want to farm in your own right on your own land, unless you are fortunate enough to inherit land, you have to be very wealthy indeed. In fact it will cost you far more than it ever has in the past to buy land, at least if you … Continue reading The Heady Heights of Land Prices
BY BEN EAGLE As a nation we pride ourselves in aspiring to produce food that is of high quality and we hold animal welfare standards in similarly high regard. Post Brexit all the rhetoric coming out of Defra at the moment suggests that Brand Britannia Farming will be focused as much as possible on producing high welfare, high quality food that has minimal impact on … Continue reading Do You Trust The Tractor?
BY BEN EAGLE How confident are you that British workers will embrace the fields and step into the shoes of the growing number of European migrant workers who are choosing to work in countries such as France or Germany instead of the UK? Personally, my confidence levels are low. The early indicators suggest that Britain is facing a labour crisis and there needs to be … Continue reading Emerging Farm Labour Crisis
BY BEN EAGLE Anybody involved in British agriculture should have accepted by now that the days for direct payments based on land area are limited in number. Instead we will be embracing a system of ‘public payments for public goods’, whatever that means. Although Michael Gove has in recent weeks offered a trickle of potential policy changes and words of general direction, there has been … Continue reading The End of Direct Payments?
BY BEN EAGLE The call for an agriculture GCSE has entered public discussion once again as Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, called for the introduction of a GCSE in agriculture for schools in England and Wales. He hopes that this would encourage more young people to enter the agricultural sector as well as improve their awareness of food, farming and environmental issues. The … Continue reading Time For GCSE Agriculture?
BY BEN EAGLE Normally I write about general countryside or farming issues for Country Squire Magazine but, this time, the editors asked me to write about something that has become surprisingly significant for my family’s farm on the Essex coast. Almost all farms have diversified to a certain extent in recent years and our farm is certainly no exception, with lots of diversified enterprises going … Continue reading Sea Buckthorn: Britain’s Secret Superfruit
BY JIM WEBSTER A lot of years ago, when I was probably about seven or eight, I was with my grandfather, father and others when they were “leading” hay. The trailer was loaded, and a small Fergie 135 pulled it out of the gate and into the lane. Now the gateway itself slopes steeply because the lane is about four feet lower than the field, … Continue reading Milking It
BY JAMIE FOSTER Michael Gove has announced a new Environmental Watchdog which will be created to protect Britain’s wildlife, land, sea and air following Brexit. It is intended to be a bulwark against the powerful and to ensure that environmental standards don’t slip when we leave the EU. A cross party environmental committee has expressed concern about what will happen in the aftermath of Brexit. … Continue reading Gove’s Environmental Watchdog