Opinion

Opinion

FARMING MATTERS: Back British Farming Day was held this week

Wednesday (September 14) was Back British Farming Day and the industry took root in the capital to reach out to MPs to sign the NFU’s Back British Farming pledge.

Opinion
National Farmers Union president Meurig Raymond speaking to our columnist Heather Jan Brunt last year

FARMING MATTERS: Guaranteed support for farmers following Brexit

The guarantee by the Treasury that farming will continue to be financially supported by the British government up to 2020 in the wake of Brexit has given much needed clarity to farmers, and this is welcomed by the National Farmers Union (NFU).The news should mean that farmers can count on receiving financial aid for, amongst other things, agri-environmental schemes already in place, to take them through to their conclusion.

Opinion 11
The late 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor

FARMING MATTERS: The death of the Duke of Westminster

The landed and titled aristocracy of our country is very much a feature of our nation’s history, and like many people I have very mixed feelings about it.

Opinion 6
File picture

Dozens of drivers caught speeding on Wellingborough estate

Dozens of drivers were caught breaking the speed limit during checks carried out on a housing estate in Wellingborough.

News 8
Countryfile Live will take place at Blenheim Palace during August 2016

Countryfile Live is now on at Blenheim Palace

Countryfile is one of the most popular programmes on television and the very first Countryfile Live opened at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on Thursday.

Opinion 3
Cows and calves. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Filming down on the farm

Since he joined the technology age and became the proud owner of his own laptop, one of the things my husband loves to do is to go onto YouTube and watch videos from farmers around the world.

Opinion 1

FARMING MATTERS: Farming life after Brexit

I have been asked by many people to comment on Brexit, and I really would love to. But I write this column some time ahead of publication and with things on the political landscape changing on a daily basis ever since the EU referendum result, it is hard to write with any confidence, as things could change before this is published.

Opinion
Hot air balloon on a field of hay.  Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Rain stops hay making

Well it’s been a soggy start to the summer and that hasn’t helped with the haymaking.

Opinion
Glastonbury 2015. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire PPP-150410-140949001

FARMING MATTERS: Ideas for diversifying

Farmers have been encouraged for years to diversify in order to make ends meet. For a long time the ideas were pretty standard - opening up your home to B&B guests, DIY liveries for horse owners, creating a space for a few touring caravans, opening a farm shop or converting buildings into units.

Opinion
Heather Jan Brunt's brother-in-law and husband enjoying a family get together in Wales.  Picture by Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: Taking a road trip to Wales

All the time I have known my husband he has been a beef farmer, but his childhood was very different as his father was a dairy farmer and life revolved around the twice daily milking of the cows in the parlour. This had to be done whatever the weather, whatever the day, and however the farmer and herdsman were feeling.

Opinion
Farmer's wife Heather Jan Brunt dislikes Brussels interference in British farm businesses

FARMING MATTERS: Brexit is best for many farmers says our columnist

There is a misconception that all farmers must be in favour of remaining in the EU because of subsidies. This is wrong.

Farmers received grants from our own government prior to our entry into the Common Market, as it was then called, and agriculture will remain as a supported industry in the event of Brexit.

This is because it is food, rather than farmers, which is subsidised, to keep retail prices at a level the general public is happy with.

Many British farmers have suffered hugely within the EU. We are subjected to endless red tape and instructions on how to run our business. An example of this is the current Three Crop Rule.

Brussels has dictated that any farmer with more than 30 hectares in arable production must grow three different crops. This was brought in by a Romanian commissioner because in Romania there are areas where thousands of hectares grow the same crop, and he wanted to encourage a wider range.

Crop diversity has never been a problem in Britain, but because in the EU everyone has to follow the same rule, British farmers can no longer choose the number of crops to grow in any one year that best suits their business, land and changing weather patterns.

I have placed Brexit The Movie on this page. It is a documentary of over one hour that shows we no longer live in a democracy, our own parliament is little more than a parish council and we are ruled by the whims and fancies of nameless un-elected bureaucrats from Brussels. You might find it interesting to watch.

Opinion 9
JOHN GRIFF: Grab your opportunities and accept the challenge

JOHN GRIFF: Grab your opportunities and accept the challenge

When were you last challenged to do something? Really taken out of your comfort zone and given something to do that put you into an area with which you were so unfamiliar that you could feel the adrenaline going round your body in your blood?

Opinion
Aynho Apricots

DAVID SAINT: Remarkable tradition of rare Northamptonshire fruit

I see that our local celebrity cleric is soon to become a celebrity chef, although he admits he’s no Escoffier!

Opinion 2
JOHN GRIFF: Chris and Top Gear team have hit the road running

JOHN GRIFF: Chris and Top Gear team have hit the road running

Did you watch it? And if you did, what did you REALLY think of it?

Opinion 3
Pandora is delighted with the kindness of a stranger

Never underestimate the milk of human kindness

Never underestimate the milk of human kindness.

Opinion
EU flag

JOHN GRIFF: EU referendum political fallout is all Greek to me

We’re into the final month before THAT referendum takes place.

Opinion
Farmer on his laptop

FARMING MATTERS: High speed broadband needed for farming families

With only four per cent of farmers having access to superfast broadband, the rollout of complete mobile networks and affordable reliable superfast broadband to rural areas must now be prioritised by government.

Opinion
JOHN GRIFF: Now that’s what I call a really entertaining show

JOHN GRIFF: Now that’s what I call a really entertaining show

The nation’s annual humiliation took place last weekend. No, nothing to do with sport. Instead it was the kitsch-fest of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Opinion
Charolais bull.  Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

FARMING MATTERS: New stock bull for the cows

I don’t see much of my husband, so when he invited me to join him on a trip to Farthinghoe in Northamptonshire I jumped at the chance.

Opinion 4
A UK farmer bringing in the harvest

FARMING MATTERS: Farm survey suggests majority of farmers back Brexit

With the EU referendum edging ever closer, whether to leave or remain is a hot topic.

Opinion 2
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