Farming in the UK

Detailed look at:

  • Organic Farming
  • GM Crops
  • Crisis in British farming?
  • Consequences of the Foot & Mouth Outbreak
  • Food prices
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James F
Organic Farming
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and
pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms.
As far as possible, organic farmers rely on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest
control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests. Organic farming
is often contrasted with conventional chemical farming.
Organic produce is supposed to It is more expensive to produce because more land is
be healthier to consume since it needed for the same amount of output produced by
is free from chemicals, intensive methods.
pesticides and fertilisers. It is A farmer wanting to go organic needs certification
also free from poisons and "is which is difficult to get. The soil must be free from
natural". all fertilisers and chemicals.
It is better for wildlife the It requires more time, skill and expertise to farm
environment, and animal welfare. organically.
GM Crops
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods produced from genetically modified organisms
(GMO) that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering. GM foods were first put
on the market in the early 1990s. The most common modified foods are derived from plants:
soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil.
Some argue that there is more than enough food in the world and that the hunger crisis is
caused by problems in food distribution and politics, not production, so people should not be
offered food that may carry some degree of risk.
GM crops showed increase weed seeds over 4 Genes can end up in unexpected places
years. (e.g. other plant species).
Advantages seen in GM in terms of reduced Genes can mutate with harmful effect.
weed control costs. Impact on birds, insects and the
GM crops offered greater flexibility in spray environment.
timing. Mixing of GM products in the food chain.
Emerging multi-herbicide-resistant crops Loss of farmers' access to plant material
Crisis in British Farming
According to government bodies and farming leaders, British agriculture
is facing its "worst crisis since the 1930's". Reasons for this include:
If supply exceeds the market equilibrium then the price will fall
since there is too much supply to satisfy the demand.

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James F
Strong Pound
A strong pound makes it more expensive for other countries to purchase output from the
UK ­ thus, farmers are unable to sell as much produce at a suitable price.
The government could provide subsidies and additional funding to support farmers
(particularly small farmers which might be struggling); as well as specific aid packages to
They could also provide compensation to farmers for the strong pound.…read more

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James F
The first reason why prices are rising is growth in the world's population, which is expected to
top nine billion by the middle of the century.
To put it bluntly, rich people eat more
than poor people, and all this
economic growth is generating a
whole new tier of middle-class
consumers who buy more meat and
processed food.
The main losers are poor people who live in cities in developing countries, who are facing higher
prices for imported food on low incomes.…read more


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