Field at sunset

Ensuring Data takes its rightful place in the Agricultural toolbox

November 2023
Last week we saw the man who bought Twitter say that Artificial Intelligence would make work optional. I am pretty sure he has never battled with the multiple challenges of harvesting or establishing crops in an ever more turbulent climate. It is inevitable that AI will, in time, influence agriculture ever more and I will be the first to applaud when it can deal with slugs or blackgrass with precision accuracy on saturated soils!! Read more...
Sarah Bell outside No. 10 Downing Street

Mobilising Nature Finance for Farmers and Land Managers

June 2023
There is little new in receiving an invitation to a meeting entitled “Mobilising Nature Finance for Farmers and Land Managers.” When it is in 10 Downing Street, there is little reason to decline, so I read through the numerous documents and hopped on a train. This looked like a passive listening exercise; Therese Coffey announced additional Defra funding for NEIRF. I’ve explored the website but haven’t yet determined if it aligns with my approach to environmental improvement, which prioritises high impact, low-tech, low-risk, and low-cost solutions. Read more...
Sarah Bell on the farm

Women Growing Grain

December 2022
A long form conversation recorded for the BBC World Service in July 2022 during the peak of the drought in what has turned out to be the warmest year on record. It is remarkable how similar the pressures are on farmers the world over – the climate, the people, the politics and the paradigm all making generational impacts. Read more...
bottles of dark beer standing in a field

We can’t eat money: why the UK needs a more joined up ag policy to absorb systematic shocks

June 2022
British life is measured in the prices of bread and beer, the staples of the mass population. The moment commodities markets go to the races, the whole population feels it. Read more...
A loaf of bread shot from above

Policy: Safe Food For All

February 2020
I am consistently struck by the disparity in wealth within in our society, deprivation in Kensington, people willing to pay five pounds for a loaf of bread in Hackney. The old paradigm of wealth and poverty being easy to judge by address is long gone. However, the gap between those who have and those who don’t has never been larger. The impact of the food system on those who make decisions between buying children shoes and feeding them are the most at risk from food policy change through the Brexit process. Read more...