Farmer IAN STANCER from Whaplode pens out weekly column, Word on the Ground...
We are now deep into January, most arable farm activity is either on hold or go slow and we are well into the chat season; kicked off with the Oxford farming conferences, followed rapidly by LAMMA Show and the NFU conference.
Everything now hinges on Brexit and the consequences for policy and legislation. Our current government taskmaster Michael Gove has started the chat by weaving the new framework to replace the addictive version evolved over decades within the EU, to support agricultural production with the aim of supplying cheap plentiful food to quell unrest and revolution.
History has proven time and time again that poverty and hunger lead to civil unrest and war, so in that respect, the dear old CAP was a huge success - however, the public may beg to differ.
At the moment, we are promised five years of roughly equal treatment with our erstwhile partners over the Channel, followed by a “simplified” British-focused system based on providing “public goods” for the environment, with capped payments to stop the landed gentry getting fat on the taxpayer. It remains to be seen how long any appreciable money lasts and what level of aristocracy we’ll be graded as.
I can’t end without a mention of hare coursing. Battles have been won with efforts yielding some good results but the war is still raging. We must stand together to assist the police without endangering ourselves.