Sunday, October 05, 2008

The problem with British farming

There is a story in the Shropshire Star by the paper's rural affairs editor Nathan Rous which, if I understand it correctly, makes clear the problem with the farming industry in Britain today.

He writes:

Beleaguered Shropshire farmers still struggling to get their harvest in as a result of the bad weather have been granted a reprieve after a further extension by the Government to use heavy machinery on waterlogged soil.

It is the second time the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has stepped in to save crops from rotting in the field.

Farmers across the region were delighted with the news, which will enable the remnants of the worst harvest in years to be salvaged.

But why do farmers need government dispensation before they can use machinery in this way? Perhaps it is bad for the land to do it. But farmland has owners, so why can't we assume that they will not damage their asset unless they have good reason, such as saving a crop?

Once again, farming sounds like the last of the nationalised industries.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

Yes, it is bad for the land. But you should listen to Farming Today, and the unintended consequences of the fumbling way in which we implemented the EU's Single Farm Payment legislation: farmers can now get paid for not farming, and they are doing that in growing numbers. The amount of home produced food drops, traditional landscapes deteriorate. How about an LD way forward, rather than Soviet style Commissars?