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Harper Forum report - Mark Hudson

Posted 21 January 2011

By Charlotte Harley, Harper Forum Reporter.

This term’s programme of speakers at Harper Adams commenced with Mark Hudson, farm consultant, ex- chairman of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and previous President of the CLA. The topic was simply ‘Our Future’.

Mr Hudson explained during his talk that increasing crop prices and decreasing sustainability in livestock farming were among his concerns. The identification of research needs in the crop industry in order to feed the growing population was also highlighted.

He demonstrated how yields have levelled in the past decade and that research is required in order to maintain the demand of the country. In contrast to this is milk production, which has steadily improved in terms of yield, but is primarily driven by nutrition advancement and genetics.

Genetic Modification was another topic in which Mr Hudson felt that Europe and Great Britain needs to be aware of. This is because he feels that current advancements would leave the UK lagging behind, and therefore struggling in the world market.

The threatened Single Farm Payments were also used to demonstrate the need to make production profitable. It was suggested during discussion that farmers have become ‘lazy’ in their dependency on subsides. However this is changing and needs to be supported by research developments, market analysis and genetic advancements. 

In only an hour, Mr Hudson explained the opportunities of his career, researching careers and agriculture to the audience and showed just how promising the next 30 years could be.

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