As he makes clear in his commentary in The Sunday Telegraph; once we leave the EU we can leave CAP behind and start afresh. By leaving the Customs Union we escape the Common External Tariff, which economists estimate will lead to food prices falling, saving the average household £300 a year, and provide a £8 billion boost to the economy.
Mr Paterson also believes that leaving the EU will allow farmers to grasp the opportunity to become more competitive, freed from “the absurd overcautious aversion to risk of the EU.” In the more productive parts of the UK farmers will be able to produce more and better food, and thus allowing them to embrace the latest technology.
In less fertile parts of the countryside, where farmers cannot survive on food production alone, such as hilly areas and marginal lands, the vital public good they accomplish by maintaining and improving the countryside, which attracts a £30 billion tourism industry, must be recognised.
It should be accepted that livestock farming provides the best tool for conservation. And if remote areas were to be abandoned in the UK, they would very soon revert to scrub.
We have been giving the EU £10 billion more than we get back, part of which is the £3 billion we receive in CAP. So, as Owen Paterson says, “Freed from the dead hand of the EU and leaving the Customs Union, we escape the Common External Tariff and every citizen will benefit from cheaper food.”
Farmers must be free to take advantage of the potential their location, soil type and market availability allows. It is up to the government and Mrs Leadsom, to ensure that future funding is directed appropriately, to ensure we have a thriving agricultural industry, which makes us more self-sufficient, and uses this valuable resource to improve the environment, managing floods as well as water catchment, and maintain high animal welfare, and biodiversity.
Dr Alison Van Eenennaam, an animal geneticist at the University of California, has come up with the idea of splicing the “hornless” gene from Aberdeen Angus cattle into Holstein dairy cows. The breeding of polled (hornless) cattle, has been going on for decades, particularly amongst beef cattle. The late Giles Pritchard –Gordon worked tirelessly to breed, through natural breeding genetics, polled cattle in his unique pure Sussex herd at Slaugham.
Giles’s father had used the introduction of the naturally polled Angus breed in 1947, in his quest to produce hornless Sussex cattle.
It seems Dr van Eenennaam’s GM movement will not be happening any time soon, as regulators have not agreed that genetically engineered animals are allowed in the food chain. So the tried, tested and natural breeding programme will continue to prevail.
It must be spring, mowers are out and gardens and hedgerows are looking cheerful as spring flowers emerge. If it keeps dry, we will begin to harrow and roll the grass fields.
The winter sown crops look well, except for a couple of fields which have been relentlessly grazed by the rabbits. Hopefully with the warmer weather, we can soon apply the first top dressing of nitrogen, and the crop will grow away from the perishers.
It is difficult to decide if it is politics or personalities taking priority, and hitting the headlines. It is obvious that journalists, media pundits and the ‘liberal elite’, hate President Trump. Probably because he made them look foolish by proving them wrong. They are now joining forces to trip him up and make his Presidency as difficult as possible. Whatever ones thoughts about Donald Trump and his manner of leadership, he is certainly rattling cages.
Here things are not much different, the two by-elections being held this week, are not being fought along party political lines, but purely on personality. Why anyone would contemplate going into politics continues to be a mystery to me. Instead of criticising we should admire their resolve, but sadly the criticism, vicious abuse and personal insults relentlessly aimed at those who do, has now become the norm.