Three themes dominate the latest, packed edition of Farm Business – the impact of the extreme weather on production, glyphosate and, you guessed it, Brexit.
Writing on page 8, West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre, Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, suggests that Brexit represents a ‘golden opportunity to set a new direction for farming’. But she insists our farmers must expect a support system that gives them a level playing field with French, German and other EU producers.
She also insists, contrary to some expectations, that the UK will continue to have the ability to shape thinking in Brussels after we leave.
Ms McIntyre and, in a thought-provoking article on page 9, Leicestershire farmer Joe Stanley both portray Brexit as an opportunity to move away from the EU’s muddled and anti-scientific thinking over glyphosate and other plant protection.
The UK could, in fact, become an Ag Tech powerhouse, embracing, for example, gene edited crops, Joe suggests. Yet he predicts politicians will ‘lack the moral courage to actually adopt this progressive attitude’.
On page 4, Agronomist and Arable Farmer deputy editor John Swire outlines why the recent high-profile and potentially very significant US glyphosate court ruling flies in the face of the evidence.
AHDB outlines the implications of the drought for milk production (p6), while on page 1, I also discuss the implications of the extreme weather.
But, of course, these will pale into insignificance in the event of a Brexit ‘no deal’ just a few months from now. Richard Wright (p2) argues that the Government’s Brexit ‘no deal’ technical papers offer little reassurance for farmers.