Read the autumn/winter 2019 edition of Grain Outlook for agronomy updates, business articles, exports insight and more
View from the chair
AHDB Board Member
Sector Chair for Cereals & Oilseeds
I recently met with a group of farmers gathered from all continents and I realised how similar many of our problems are: market prices, soil management and competing against other industries for workforce. Climate change might not be talked about in the same way but all the farmers recognised that the number of extreme weather events they face are growing in frequency. What was fascinating was the different approach to these problems and the role governments played.
There is huge variation across the continents as to what pesticides farmers have access to. The uptake and approach to genetics is widely different and the two combined lead to a huge variation in productivity. Water is often seen as the limiting factor and rarely is its use controlled or quality dictated, in a way the EU applies the Water Framework Directive.
There were some particularly telling lessons to be taken in the different management approaches and, as EU farmers, we were certainly seen as having it easy. Something we might dispute or qualify but it’s a useful challenge.
Across the sectors, AHDB has tried, through the Brexit process, to bring constructive challenges for levy-payer benefit. The common thread behind success from that global group of farmers was the willingness to change and learn from each other. So it was rewarding to find that the AHDB Monitor Farm programme was something they all instantly recognised as being of real benefit. To all involved: keep up the great work. And to those who might not have been to a meeting: there has never been a more important time to share experiences in changing times, so give it a go this autumn.
Find out more about AHDB's work for cereals and oilseeds farmers in this latest edition of Grain Outlook.