Post-Brexit agricultural policy could be "six years in the making" says Defra policy specialist

A Defra official has told a farming conference that while there is a will to return to a scientific, risk analysis based approach to crop protection post Brexit, new policy could take until the mid-2020s to formulate.

Farmers Club
Farmers Club

The event organised by the British Crop Production Council (BCPC) and The Voluntary Initiative at The Farmers Club in London on Science and Compliance: Preparing for an Uncertain Future post-Brexit  heard Defra’s Head of Future Farming Policy, Guy Horsington, explain that 80% of the regulations affecting agriculture come from the EU.

He said that while there is a will to return to a scientific risk analysis of using plant protection products, a post-Brexit Agricultural Policy could be six years in the making. 

Openfield’s Head of Research Cecilia Pryce highlighted problems the UK faces with limited ports of sufficient size to support potential benefits from new trade deals outside the EU.

Northants farmer Andrew Pitts demonstrated how the use of soil and yield maps could be used to remove the least profitable parts of a farm to improve margins significantly, and at the same increase the use of wild flower meadows to attract pollinators and natural enemies of insect pests. 

This focus on the environment was picked up by Chris Musgrave of Musgrave Management Systems who shared the experiences and benefits achieved following the selection of a farmer-led initiative as one of 12 Nature Improvement Areas, demonstrating a significant and positive impact on the local environment whilst continuing to farm commercially.

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