Letters: Farming is not like 'The Archers'

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The Independent Online
YOUR LEADING article "You never see a farmer on a bike" (13 August) appears to have been written by someone whose sole knowledge of farming is obtained from The Archers.

What would you have the EU do with the surplus of peaches, apples and cauliflowers? Store them at great expense in refrigerators? You do not mention that the surpluses of grain, meat and dairy products have been greatly reduced as a result of recent EU policy. You say that farmers do not share the fate of miners and shipbuilders. It wasn't many years ago that there were 100,000 dairy farmers registered in England and Wales; there are now less than 30,000.

I have been very lucky to spend 45 happy years as a dairy farmer.For young farmers now, conditions are much more difficult. You will know of the Samaritans' concern at the increase of suicides in the farming community.

It would be nice to return to the old farming methods, without the use of chemicals, and with a greatly increased labour force. But who would be able to afford the food?

Jim Morrish

Wellington, Somerset