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Frank Hovis

Farming subsidy - odd rationale

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I used to hear this when I listened to The Archers and have kept hearing it ever since: that a primary drive for farming subsidy is to keep the land looking the same.

I have never understood why this is a worthwhile aim. The ideal natural state for most land is surely pristine woodland; not close cropped grass.

The thinking that we must pay people to work on the land to keep it looking the same as it does now seems really odd.

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Yes... but to keep it looking the same in a conservative sense.  Rather than a commie pinko sense.

 

Strategically it makes sense to be able to continue or rather revert to a more agrarian economy if needs must.

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No, massive make (no) work for farmers.

Agri subs are slowly on their way out.

The UK has a chance to scrap them quickly. It should.

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4 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I used to hear this when I listened to The Archers and have kept hearing it ever since: that a primary drive for farming subsidy is to keep the land looking the same.

I have never understood why this is a worthwhile aim. The ideal natural state for most land is surely pristine woodland; not close cropped grass.

The thinking that we must pay people to work on the land to keep it looking the same as it does now seems really odd.

More pristine woodland would be better. More large-scale East Anglian-style monoculture would be worse, being built over worse still (might be more varied but it makes putting it back to something better harder). The farmed but not intensively so and not very modernised bits of Britain are some of the most wonderful landscapes in the world IMO, anything that threatens that I label utterly vile, although more broadleaf woodland (large enough to be reasonably called a forest) would be a very nice change. Doesn't have to be all of it though.

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Farmers are slowly realising that monocultures with no hedgerows or copses are bad for the local wildlife and therefore this does affect their bottom line in some way or another. Although I assume the reason they aren't turning them into woodland is because it's a ******* to remove trees by stubbing them out.

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12 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I used to hear this when I listened to The Archers and have kept hearing it ever since: that a primary drive for farming subsidy is to keep the land looking the same.

I have never understood why this is a worthwhile aim. The ideal natural state for most land is surely pristine woodland; not close cropped grass.

The thinking that we must pay people to work on the land to keep it looking the same as it does now seems really odd.

It is a new thing.  Originally farmers were paid a subsidy on production -- helping the country feed its inhabitants, that sort of thing.

In the 80s it became clear that that argument was a bit facile (or, rather, that the public were seeing through it), so they changed it to 'custodians of the land' type of thing -- pay the farmers a bit (beyond their production) to keep Britain looking like, well, Britain.

The Archers is a made up thing to entertain people living in towns*, with a byline to help push agric propaganda at the population.  So they push whatever is the official line of the time -- at the moment, as I say, it is 'custodians of the land'.

I think they might be getting to a 'public seeing through it' stage again, so it'll probably change.

*I know lots of farmers and none of them listen to the Archers.

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13 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I used to hear this when I listened to The Archers and have kept hearing it ever since: that a primary drive for farming subsidy is to keep the land looking the same.

I have never understood why this is a worthwhile aim. The ideal natural state for most land is surely pristine woodland; not close cropped grass.

The thinking that we must pay people to work on the land to keep it looking the same as it does now seems really odd.

I don't think the subsidies are really about keeping the land looking neat.

The underlying intention is to help farmers deal with a bad year (or run of years). Of course, modern farming methods and the widespread use of fertilizer, pesticide, etc have made it easier for farmers to avoid losing crops, but climate change is now a tangible threat (e.g. you can have a record-breakingly wet April or May which could leave some crops rotting).

Much of the desire to subsidise food production can be traced back to the WWII when food shortages across the UK and across Europe really rammed home the problems with lack of food security due to overreliance on imports.

20,000 odd people dying of starvation in the Netherlands in particular is a key reason the EEC/EU was keen to overproduce.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_famine_of_1944–45

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17 minutes ago, Futuroid said:

I don't think the subsidies are really about keeping the land looking neat.

The underlying intention is to help farmers deal with a bad year (or run of years). Of course, modern farming methods and the widespread use of fertilizer, pesticide, etc have made it easier for farmers to avoid losing crops, but climate change is now a tangible threat (e.g. you can have a record-breakingly wet April or May which could leave some crops rotting).

Much of the desire to subsidise food production can be traced back to the WWII when food shortages across the UK and across Europe really rammed home the problems with lack of food security due to overreliance on imports.

20,000 odd people dying of starvation in the Netherlands in particular is a key reason the EEC/EU was keen to overproduce.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_famine_of_1944–45

Came about from a lot of reasons.

EU subs are bdcause a ruralish France saw a way to keep a politica base and get money of Germans. Germany sees it as guiltgeld.

Farmers have fckall all political weight in the UK. Even as a kid growing up in the 80s a few people worked on farms. Now a farm that employed equiv to 10FT heads only employ 1.

EU subs have stunted the economic development of north africa.

 

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