Change in the uplands was inevitable, regardless of Brexit, according to National Sheep Association chief executive Phil Stocker.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, he writes in an excellent article in the latest edition of Farm Business. But is Brexit and Michael Gove’s vision for the future of UK and its relationship with the environment and opportunity or threat for the iconic upland sheep sector?
Mr Stocker sees opportunity, despite the influence of the likes of George Monbiot, who would to turn the uplands into a wilderness. But there are some key policy arguments to be won if this is to be the case.
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After all, upland sheep farming converts semi-natural grasses and plants that grow solely from sunlight, soil and rain, into high quality protein and valuable breeding stock – and produces a bucketful of public goods in the process.
Elsewhere, you can reading a fascinating article by Caroline Stocks on the thoughts of Rothamsted’s Achim Dobermann on the future of crop science in the UK, while Alistair Driver summarise what 2018 might hold for Brexit negotiations.
And we have information on all the winners of the 2017 Food and Farming Industry Awards, handed out at a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons.