We should be in no doubt as to the importance of the crossroads that Irish agriculture is fast approaching. One road has the potential to expose the sector to a world of new opportunities, where farmers are recognised and rewarded for delivering environmentally sustainable food – not just in terms of market prices but also through the introduction of a financial mechanism that rewards them for removing atmospheric carbon and storing it in their soils, hedgerows and trees.

The alternative route takes farmers down a very different road – one where the productive capacity of their farms is severely curtailed and economic sustainability eroded through environmental policy constraints.