Fieldwise FiewPoint - Andrew McShane
What is the future of farming?
I recently attended this year’s Oxford Farming Conference and listened to Michael Gove discuss his future plans for farming. It is clear that, whilst committed to supporting farming, Government is saying that the industry must prepare for changes ahead.
Combined with the recently launched report ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment', as advisors we need to digest the implications of these announcements and understand the consequences for you in trying to run a profitable farming business.
Certainly, Michael Gove acknowledged the key importance of technology in driving sustainable farm productivity forward. Our role in helping to develop this technology and to make sure it is practical for you to use will, I believe, increase in importance over the next few years. The 25-year plan calls for all England’s soils to be managed sustainably by 2030. Our ‘Healthy Soils’ service will grow in value to you as the full implications of this challenge become clearer.
Although Michael Gove’s speech had some clear messages which give us a stable platform for planning over the next few years, a number of longer term issues remain unaddressed. The issue of rewards for public goods, rather than crop production, makes me wonder the extent to which we will be advising you as ‘Natural Capital’ managers in the future, rather than food producers. However, I am sure that many changes in political direction lie ahead and we all know that one of Government’s most important functions is to make sure its population does not go hungry.
Andrew McShane (Managing Director)
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