Jonathan Schifferes Profile picture
May 1, 2018 11 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Here’s what I found touring farming businesses around Newark and #Nottinghamshire yesterday for @ffc_commmission #ffccontheroad (Grateful for my @CoticLtd bike!) #food #farming #countryside
2/ Farming dominates the rural landscape. But in most rural areas more people work in industry than agriculture. #ffccontheroad
3/ Farmers told me that while their generation has had to diversify not only farm activity, but their own skill set. They need to be mechanics, accountants, labourers, investors, land managers and entrepreneurs. They typically have fewer staff than their parent’s generation.
4/ The cabin of a #tractor looks like a space shuttle. Most modern tractors have satellite guidance. They self-drive to 2cm precision in drilling seed or harvesting. But many older farmers don't know how to use it. #ffccontheroad
5/ This is the best looking body on the forecourt. No, not Josh, but the @CaseIH_UK_Ire tractor that he sells. @Farmstar_Ltd in Newark sell to 2000+ farmers. Josh used to drive them for a living himself. He is keen to help the general public understand #farming better.
6/ These are future pints of @Kronenbourg1664: barley, precision-planted last week. Farmers commonly contract with each other for tasks. While growing potatoes would be more lucrative – the farmers that have the specialised machinery often rent fields for the crop. #ffccontheroad
7/ One farmer told me “we make more from the farmyard than the farm, and that is sad really. Diversification is supposed to supplement farming income, not replace it”. Horse paddocks, solar arrays, fishing lakes, caravan parking, wind turbines are vital to local farms.
8/ EU payments support farmers to spread pollen+nectar seed. This field will be buzzing with #bees all summer. Farmers told me they want regulations to be led by science, but implementation should flex to respect expert knowledge of what works best in each field. #ffccontheroad
9/ Farmers told me of potential value in local collaboration being incentivised in future policy and payments. For conservation and recreation, neighbouring farms could do more together. But rural agencies need expertise to facilitate and resources to reward this. #ffccontheroad
10/ Travelling by bike you notice gorgeous #churches everywhere. I am not religious but aren’t they just heart-wrenchingly lovely? They give villages historic identity, but maintaining them is a serious concern for parishes across the country. #ffccontheroad
11/ Sharing rhubarb crumble with a @theRSAorg Fellow, I hear how #Brexit has divided friends+family at rural dinner tables. While migrant labour sustains farms and abattoirs, rich commuters depend on London. “Farmers who think they will always get subsidy are in for a shock.”

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