Vital to Embrace Change for Future Sustainability

There is much change to come within global agriculture and farmers are being strongly advised to embrace these changes to ensure their business is sustainable for future generations.

Issues including Brexit, climate change, soil depletion, water shortage, pollution and food security all bring new challenges to farming businesses and it is vital farmers are prepared and adapt accordingly.

Tracey Jackson

Tracey Jackson

“Landowners in the UK need to be particularly mindful of the changes to BPS payments and the shift to environmental benefits,” explains Tracey Jackson, H&H Land and Property Associate who recently attended the Oxford Farming Conference and believes people should be planning their business to withstand a shift in subsidy payments. “Although no specific details are available, the message is clear – farmers can no longer depend on payments for land ownership alone.

“The management of the land, and what it is used for, will be pivotal for future support. There is an urgent need to protect the environment and this is going to be reflected in the UK’s emerging policy to shift payments from landownership to providing environmental benefits.

“The message of the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference was positive however the key theme was around Embracing Change, and this perfectly sums up the mindset needed to sustain and build a future profitable business,” says Tracey.

“Technological and biological advances can assist in improving production and reducing inputs and there is much research and development being done in these fields. Its important farmers keep afoot of these developments and adopt new practices where appropriate. Financial support is available through the Countryside Productivity Scheme for on farm technology, as well as a number of other grants – for which H&H Land and Property can assist with grant applications.

“The conference also emphasised the need for collaboration and working together to share ideas and best practice, both farm to farm and between farmers, scientists and environmentalists. I want to stress this – I feel farmers can benefit hugely from working with others and currently may not be maximising on these resources. Today’s farmers have the incredible resource of the internet, which opens up many valuable learning and networking opportunities not available to previous generations. I want to encourage farmers to get on line, get involved in webinars, research their industry and connect with innovative and inspiring individuals who will help them succeed.

“Also, let’s work, as an industry, to encourage public support for agriculture. There is a real desire from the general public to reconnect with where their food comes from and farmers should welcome this and engage with their consumers – which will lead to a better relationship with their consumer and help build loyalty to British products. Open Farm Sunday offers an ideal starting point for this.

“What was evident at the conference, was that UK agriculture has the potential for an amazing future. We have some of the best farmers in the world and are the envy of many in areas such as research, welfare, productivity and environmental issues. We have a tremendous base on which to build.”

HH Land

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