The latest edition of Farm Business contains the usual informative and insightful comment on a whole raft of topical issues ranging from the media’s obsession with large scale farming to the on going success of a ‘hippy cooperative’.
The online magazine’s editor, Alistair Driver, explains that the obsession with large scale farms, their perceived association with so called factory farming and explains why these stereotypes are misplaced. This timely piece has been written as new media reports emerge about the rise of so-called ‘mega farms’ in the UK and various celebrities have condemned large scale of production without too much thought.
Alistair points out that the big is bad narrative ignores the wider economic reality. A large proportion of consumers will always prioritise price over other perceived virtues such as methods of production and to argue that big is automatically bad when it comes to animal health and welfare is a gross over simplification.
He also points out that the diversity in British agriculture should be celebrated; it is not about one system being better than the other. Indeed this point is pushed home in another article in Farm Business which celebrates the crowd funded Ecological Land Co-operative which now provides three families with affordable smallholdings at Greenham Reach in Devon.
The thorny issue of Brexit has not been forgotten in the issue either as Richard Wright ponders where we should be looking for trade deals and the fact that this might not be as simple as some would have us believe. Also AHDB’s chief technical officer, Richard Laverick talks about the need for benchmarking, as margins will become ever tighter in a post Brexit world.
On a more practical note the rise of drone technology is also looked at as predictions say that drone production will rise by 16% on last year. In the same article the work at Harper Adams on automative technology is noted as researchers are now looking at driverless tractors for drilling, spraying and other tasks as well as driverless combines in the not too distant future.