Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2014 A Quick Fire Five

As 2014 explodes via an array of festive fireworks, I've composed a list of  things that I hope come to fruition this year.
These are obviously in addition to good health and happiness, winning the lottery, England football, cricket and rugby teams enjoying success. The cynical and satirical Twitterers still keep plying their amusing trade!!

1. A further step on our precision farming journey. This will help improve our resource efficiency, especially in fertiliser application and cultivation traffic.
2. I hope the detail in the Greening regulations allows Ecological Focus Areas to help growers control black grass and the rules surrounding nitrogen fixing crops are not so onerous as to put farmers off adopting the option.
3. Continued constructive dialogue between DEFRA, Natural England, farmers and other rural stakeholders over landscape management. The countryside has to provide many functions and there has to be strategies that deliver a benefit to all.
4. The Big Farmland Bird Count - If farmers get behind this, it will prove invaluable information about what is happening to our farmland birds. It is something farmers have control of, rather than being told by others about the state of our rural landscape.
5. How do we stop so called 'progress' swallowing up farmland and wild life habitat. Major housing projects, some renewable energy projects, runways and HS2 are examples of society is oblivious to its detrimental strategy. It seems strange how we argue for maximum modulation for agri-environment schemes and then allow the environmental mayhem on farmland, ancient woodland and wildlife habitat with HS2

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