June 19, 2017

20/06/2017: Tradition and modernism in agriculture

by Chris Jackson, Export Manager UK TAG

Following on from last month’s column I have been visiting some of the family farms in Australia, where farm visiting is a constant reminder to me of the importance of farming and food production - something that in the western world our political leaders take for granted
Chris Jackson

Without food and water not one of us can exist, something our political elite should be reminded of before their complacency causes a real problem.

When I am visiting established farms it is a salutary reminder, that apart from the New World, the same land has been tilled and farmed through many hundreds of generations.

This practice will continue to be so through future generations, so it is imperative that each generation of farmers leaves the land in good condition for future generations.

This must be a primary focus, but at the same time we need food so we have to look to science and genetics to improve yields. This will allow farmers and their advisers to be the final arbiters on their production techniques. After all, they are the ones with the vested interest in efficient production.

This can be done quite successfully without the need to destroy precious rain forests, however we will need a more enlightened political elite to overrule political lobbyists.

Those who would have us farming with 500 year old technologies, no fertilisers and no crop protecting sprays, meaning of course most of the world would then be hungry.

 Of course we must be sure that toxic chemicals do not enter the supply chain. Farmers have an overriding responsibility to ensure safe food; criminals will be unscrupulous for money so efficient policing is essential.

Going back to my farming background also serves as a useful reality check in this world of high technology.

Whilst I was in Australia, Queensland was hit by a devastating tornado. Much was made in the media of damage to houses and property, but for a country, whose agricultural industry is key to the economy not a lot was said about crop losses.

Houses can be mended quickly but when a crop is lost it takes another year to replace, in national terms the losses were quite small but devastating to the farmers.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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