As we look forward to 2005 thoughts of spring and fieldwork start infiltrating the thought process. What does the future hold for British farming? In a recent survey it has been suggested that the agricultural industry in the UK and perhaps the World could be in a big change situation by the end of the decade. The main reason behind this is the influence that China will have in the future.

The Chinese population has increased by 9% in the last five years, which has resulted in a land mass reduction of 2% to accommodate extra housing, factories and the formulation of huge dams to create reservoirs by flooding prime agricultural land valleys. As population increases and landmass decreases, China will be more reliant on imports to fulfil its population explosion appetites.

A better standard of education also means that eating habits in China are changing with more reliance on cereals, red meat and dairy products. When these factors are considered, it means that in the not too distant future China could be importing large volumes of cereals, meat and various dairy products, which can only lead to better prices for the producers. For those farmers in the UK, who remain in agriculture over the next few years, maybe the future looks brighter. Lets keep our fingers crossed.