Do we need a new contract with landowners to provide public goods?
After Brexit, as the UK is no longer bound by the Common Agricultural Policy, what could be done to ensure the provision of public goods such as clean water, carbon storage, biodiversity and access to valued landscapes? In a new report The Land Management Contract: Design and Delivery in England the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) sets out proposals for how such a contract might be designed and implemented to deliver public goods and services that are valued by society, but are not adequately provided through the market.
Latest publications from The Farm Business Survey now available to buy
Three new publications are now available from the Farm Business Survey. A benchmarking guide to farming in Northern England analyses the profitability of farms across Northern England. The guide looks at the economic health of all farm types in Northumberland, Cumbria, Durham and Tyne and Wear over the period 2016/2017. Two national publications give an independent analysis of specific farm types in England during 2016/17. Hill Farming in England by David Harvey and Charles Scott provides an insight into how these iconic but economically vulnerable areas are faring and highlights their current dependence on agricultural subsidies. Organic Farming in England looks at a niche sector which is down from a peak of 391,76 ha in 2010 to 281,769 ha in 2016. In spite of a slight increase in conversion to organic production across the UK in 2016, the overall area of land under this system continues to fall. All of these publications are available to buy via the Newcastle University Webstore.
Production diseases and animal welfare
With intensive animal production on the rise, farmers have to be increasingly alert to problems created by so-called production diseases. These have implications for both profits and animal welfare. But how aware are consumers of these diseases and what interventions would they like to see in the food chain? Relu policy and practice note no 5 Production diseases and farm animal welfare: what does the public think? outlines the issues and looks at actions stakeholders could take.
Farm advisers could play a key role in implementing 25 Year Environment Plan
Farm advisers have specialist skills and local knowledge they can apply in their work with farmers and land managers and this will be more important than ever after Brexit. The 25 Year Environment Plan and new food and farming policy will have the potential to change significantly the way land is managed in the UK. CREs latest Relu policy and practice note on the role of farm advisers in post Brexit land management draws out some of the implications for key land-based advisory professions.