Gove: Rothamsted responds

Rothamsted Research welcomed Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s speech today on the future of the UK’s farming industry, “Farming for the Next Generation”.

Director and chief executive, Achim Dobermann, said: “It was very positive to hear Mr Gove identify some of the key challenges that face us all, as we work together to secure a successful future for agriculture in the UK, such as maintaining soil quality. This is a major priority that Rothamsted has been working on. Soil health is a key element in ensuring more productive systems in agriculture. Rothamsted looks forward to continuing work with Government to ensure that sound science enables us to put in place useful monitoring schemes – a huge challenge in itself.”

“We also welcome Mr Gove’s positive approach in encouraging the public to be open-minded to new technologies, such as gene editing. These technologies will be key in the revolution that’s needed to speed up improvements in crops, to ensure not only high yield but reliable nutritional value in our food and environmental sustainability.”

Director for Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships, Angela Karp, said: “Sound science is key to the future of agriculture. But it’s not science alone that’s required here. Translation is crucial. We must find ways to ensure better, faster translation for the discovery science that is rightly recognised as world class in Britain. This way, our science will make an impact in practice sooner, for all our benefit.”

“We also welcome Mr Gove’s pledge to put agriculture at the heart of the Government’s broader thinking on the food and drinks sector. His speech demonstrated joined-up thinking across the key issues, and acknowledged that policy-making can sometimes take too long and become overly complex. I welcome his willingness to make improvements here.”

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.