Thursday, June 23, 2016

British Agriculture in the Modern World

I found this long piece from the London Review of Books very interesting. The writer's hook is Brexit. The EU budget is heavily focused on agricultural subsidies, but the EU also imposes regulations, so he can find a mix of opinions.  The writer interviews farmers about Brexit and considers the various impacts, but the piece ranges broadly. What's especially fascinating to see what's common to English and American agriculture, such as expanding farm size and conservation concerns, and what's different, particularly the continuing position of the wealthy/noble landowners. And finally the writer discovers the variety which exists behind all the stereotypes of farmers.

A couple quotes:
"[a farmer involved in conservation] was grateful for one aspect of his new life: he gets to meet people when he talks about his work. Mechanisation has isolated farmers. Wright and his brother farm alone where once 14 people worked."
"When the English government recently had the chance to carry out its own, independent CAP reform – in agriculture, there essentially is an English government, with the four parts of the United Kingdom having separate policies – it proved eager to go on subsidising the big landowners"
 Read it.

Thanks to commenter "rupello" for the lead.

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