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HELM TALKS: FARMING Lecture 1

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Dieter Helm's lecture series on farming.

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HELM TALKS: FARMING Lecture 1

  1. 1. THEMES • 2020 is an historic moment • What BREXIT means for farming • The end of CAP • Digitalising – the end of labour and the coming of precision farming • Genetics & the new biological sciences • Net zero and carbon farming
  2. 2. 2020 IS AN HISTORIC MOMENT • Open fields – enclosures and clearances - Middle Ages to 16th/17th century • First agricultural revolution - late 18th century • The coming of fossil fuels – steam engines and tractors – late 19th/20th century • Freight and refrigeration – early 20th century • The Second World War and dig-for-victory – 1940 onwards • The post war agriculture Act - 1947 • EU entry and the CAP – 1973/73 onwards • BREXIT and technology – 2020
  3. 3. WHAT BREXIT MEANS FOR FARMING CAP = Big subsidies (£3billion) + trade barriers & BFP + lots of other subsidies New Agricultural policy = £3billion declines and “free trade” + public goods + carbon price European Commission (with French pressure) replaced by HMT
  4. 4. THE END OF THE CAP • Pillar 1 (BFP) + Pillar 2 (rural development & environment payments) • Owning land –> payment for public goods • Capitalisation impacts and land prices • Auctions, ELMS and big data And less money……
  5. 5. DIGITALISATION & THE COMING OF PRECISION FARMING • Digitalisation is as significant as the coming of tractors • Almost everything can be digitalised • Natural capital mapping • Carbon mapping • No need for many workers…… the robots are coming
  6. 6. GENETICS & THE NEW BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES • From species to genomics to individual genes • Reassembling proteins and more plant-based food • Gene editing • GMOs Towards a plasticity of nature
  7. 7. NET ZERO & CARBON FARMING • Electricity • Transport • Agriculture (including ammonia & red diesel) Emissions Carbon sequestration • Soils • Trees • Peat • Marine Vs.

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