Category Archives: Farm incomes

Vision of UK Farming

THIS

For half a century, the British government and (latterly) the EU have supported production.

OR THIS

Of late, the UK Environment Secretary has begun to signal a further shift in financial support towards a politically correct view of “the environment”.

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 19 February 2018

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Reseaarch Ltd 19 February 2018

Northern Forest v Food per Head of Population

 

If we do not control population, very urgently, nature will do it for us – soon and it will not be pretty.

This morning, the BBC reported the allocation of thousands of acres to a new Northern National Forest.  Well, very laudable and politically correct. However, I do not hear of any politician talking about population control.  A reader of this blog in India reports the same total avoidance of the population issue in that country and, he observes, nowhere in the world. Population control and food supply WILL affect our children if we start now to do something about it.  If we don’t start and seriously, it WILL affect our children catastrophically. It is quite simple. Write to your MP about it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 7 Jan 2018.

Farm Subsidies Brexit

Bringing home the harvest may be very different after Brexit which will bring the biggest change in British farming since the second world war.

Whatever the government says and promises, there is a pretty good chance that Brexit means the end of subsidies for productive farming.  The current indicators are for “fluffy” grants for “environmental” protection and projects.  All very politically correct and, as usual, devoid of facing reality of the need for food security balanced with environmental care. Forget for a moment that the only real way to protect the environment is to stop and reverse population growth. Look instead at what options farming might have in the event of loss of cash support.

Farming can become more efficient at lower cost. (Nothing new in that and we can keep improving.) Farming can produce more per ha. (We will keep doing that too.) Farming can add value, – by vertical integration.  Farming can diversify. We really do need to be looking more actively with fresh eyes at all of these.

Land Research Ltd 27 Dec 17

 grid batteries – farming

Batteries are changing the way we will employ renewable energy sources.

The problem with solar and wind turbines is that they are never 24-7. To make matters worse, the human race tends to use a lot more power first thing in the morning and in early evening (at “peak”) than the rest of the day. Now we have the technology to produce batteries to take in power from the grid at off peak times and feed it back in during the peak demand – economically.

For farmers, as a rough guide, 1 acre = 30MW and typically sites will be 10-49 MW sites. As a very rough guide, 1 MW of battery would earn £2000 pa, index linked, for 20 years. So, if you have from half to one and half acres (allowing for access), give me an e-mail on bill@landresearchonline.com

 

“Survival” for free!

Download free.

On 7th, 8th and 10th December, you can download “Survival” Sustainable Energy, Wastes Shale Gas and The Land” at Amazon Kindle for free!  Suggest do it to a big screen because of the diagrams.

Flood-prevention co-operatives

Contour farming in the China mountains. We could use the same techniques to protect lowland areas from flash flooding.

An income-earner for upland farms could be for protecting the lowlands from flash-flooding.  For flood prevention in the lowlands, an up-land flood-prevention co-op could deliver what the country needs, right now.  This can be done by a reverse-franchise set up which is less restrictive than a legal co-operative.

In a reverse franchise, a limited company is set up as the franchisor and it makes the rules.  Each farmer-franchisee gets one share (however big or small they are) in the franchisor and hence the name “reverse franchise”. The franchisor then forms a relationship with the Environment Agency to manage an upper catchment area including the mechanisms of (i) raising soil organic matter levels  using composted urban wastes from the lowlands, (ii) planting tree belts on contours to create flow barriers, and (iii) setting up sacrifice areas to hold water under extreme conditions to allow slow release.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 12 November 2017

Water in farming

 

Does the rainbow promise better weather, wetter weather, both or more extreme weather? What can we actually do about it?

 

On 24 August 2017m the Water Resources Institute published a piece on their website looking at “7 Reasons We’re Facing a Global Water Crisis” in a piece written by Leah Schleifer.  With credit to them, I try here to relate those lessons to British farming and maybe farming elsewhere in developed counties that do not really think water may be a significant economic problem sooner rather than later.

 

Reason 1. We’re Changing the Climate, Making Dry Areas Drier and Precipitation More Variable and Extreme.

Without mentioning any particular name, one who denies climate change must either be demented or have some ulterior motive. In most farming areas, water will in general get shorter in areas where it is already short and rain, when it does happen, at higher rates and with more wind. In general terms, most climatologists agree, this trend will continue.  However, there is some evidence that we may have already started to switch off, or otherwise change, the Gulf Stream. If that turns out to be the case, the western areas of the UK may get colder, not warmer, especially in winter.

The effects of these changes will affect everything in farming including field drainage, soil organic matter, the way we control weeds in crops.  We had better be ready to respond to these pressures.  One thing is for sure – it will not stay the same.

There is one rule to watch; mostly, where rain is already short in the eastern areas, we will get less and when it happens it will be in heavy weather.  Cereal crop lodging before harvest will be an increasing risk.  All areas may experience flash flooding.

Conservation farming action;

  1. Add organic matter and reduce cultivations to reduce oxidation of organic matter.
  2. Subsoil at intervals.
  3. Maintain ditches and field drainage.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd.,  September 17