Category Archives: Farm incomes

Land values- farming-Brexit


The Environment Secretary has repeatedly signally lately that support for farming will progressively shift from production support to environmental protection.  As we already import more than half of what we eat, that presumably means that the post-Brexit trade deals we hear so much of lately will sacrifice UK agricultural production to imports, in exchange for exports of cars, armaments, fashion, university places and computer programming.  That, in turn, implies a change in land values as production will be less economic and cash for the environment will be squeezed in favour of university tuition fees (or whatever is PC at the time). That implied fall in land values will then allow the builders to buy up land and build houses. Obviously an environmental improvement which will allow otters, beavers and bitterns to occupy urban gardens.

I remain unconvinced that government is thinking anything through.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,  1st April 18

In a divorce, true friends stand out from acquaintances

Under threat from Russia, the EU shows support in a way the USA does not. that does not bode well for Brexit.

Like any divorce, Brexit is a time for finding out who your real friends are. Try clicking on the link below.

The Liberal Democrats in the UK are pushing for a referendum when we know the final version of the Brexit deal. As we have pretensions to be a democracy, that sounds a good idea.  By the way, EU support for farming and home production is worth consideration, too.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 25 March 18

Bad government

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest
Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC

So, evidently, we’ve learned nothing in the past 2,070 years.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 24 March 18

Insanity of abandoning production support for farming

If any Minister forgets this effect of a slip in the jet-stream, he or she may well heave the death of maybe thousands of old people on their hands.

The cold snap at the beginning of March is easily forgotten,

BUT remember for a moment the empty shelves in the supermarkets for a day or two afterwards. Credit to them and their supply companies and truck drivers for getting it right so quick…

BUT, suppose the jet steam which dipped south for a couple of days and let in the “Beast from the East” had stuck for a couple of weeks…

BECAUSE the supermarkets work on Just In Time (JIT) supply chains, people would have actually starved and vulnerable people would have died.  Over-dramatising?  Well, possibly.  However, some years ago, I was working for TACIS (the EU technology transfer program) in Tajikistan and, because of a deliberate cut-off of the gas energy supply from further into the communist block, several million people dies in their sub=zero temperature winter. These things do happen.

AND, if and when we leave the EU and we do trade deals with overseas people, exporting services and manufactured goods, and allowing more food imports, and sell farm production down the line in favour of “environmental” correctness, and the same dip in the jet stream occurs, then more people will die.

Why do we put up with Ministers and a Civil Service that has no common sense?

Oh, by the way, climate is changing, it is quite likely the jet stream will dip again.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,  March 18




Farm Labour and change



Post Brexit, UK farming faces the biggest change for over 100 years.  So, is there a connection between this…

… and this?


Farming and the Health Budget.  3. Health Education

Fresh air, walking, communing with nature, getting away from the rush, good food.  Farming is now grubbing out young, viable fruit orchards for apples, pears, plumbs, raspberries, strawberries – and because EU labour has gone back home. If people want welfare support, health support, then each individual has to help themselves wherever they can.  Gentle exercise fruit picking, together with others at the same stage of health, under the guidance of health specialists, could do for themselves, farming, the nation and the Budget, and the taxpayer a favour.  And it could be fun!  Pretty good for NHS staff, too.

We really do have to start thinking outside the box in order to ensure profit is generated in farming because that is where the resources come from to maintain what the politicians politely call “the environment”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 March 18

Farming, the NHS and Exercise

Farming and the Health Budget.No 1 of 9 daily posts; Exercise



How about government joining the farm and health budgets and offering cash for a joint program between a hospital, local GP’s and local farmers to run jointly-designed exercise programs to;

  • Promote health generally. (so as to reduce health costs later.)
  • Prepare for operations. (e.g. lose weight).
  • Recuperate after treatment.
  • Prevent recurrence.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 26 February 18


Farming and the NHS Budget

Will any government keep its farm support promise, post Brexit? Should it? Will it be able to afford to? Here is an alternative if government gets short of cash – and it will!

Farming takes around £3 billion out of the EU pa.  If Brexit does go through, then that will disappear. The UK government has promised to match that for 5 years.  One has to suspect that there may be a certain amount of scope to interpret that. Most of the public cannot remember the country being short of food. The pressure from the voting public to support farming may pall into insignificance compared with pouring cash into the NHS. So can farming offer something to the NHS?  Farming manages the great outdoors and produces some of the safest food in the world.  These are directly related to both health (including all aspects of physical and mental health, preferably viewed holistically) and the cost of running the health services. Over the next 9 daily posts of this blog, I shall be raising some questions about the way farming could give the government two benefits for the price of one.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 25 February 2018