UK Agri News

Farmers Weekly

One of the UK’s largest privately owned organic poultry companies, which processes thousands of traditional turkeys, has been hit by a major fire during the run-up to Christmas . But the owners of Capestone Organics in Pembrokeshire said the fire was confined to a workshop, did not spread to the processing unit or buildings housing poultry, and will not affect pre-Christmas production. See also: Capestone profiled as finalist in FW Awards “Fortunately the workshop is on the other side of the road […]

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Posted: December 12, 2017, 3:02 pm

Farmers Weekly

Farmers are being offered help to identify “little brown jobs” ahead of the fifth annual Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC). Organisers the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) are hosting a series of farmland bird ID in England, Scotland and Wales. The first ID day takes place on 17 January and they continue for three weeks up until the start of the count, which runs from 9-18 February 2018. See also: Quiz – can you spot six common farmland birds? […]

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Posted: December 12, 2017, 2:53 pm

Farmers Weekly

Unless you have been living in a bunker for the past few days, you will know that it has been snowing in many parts of the UK, with Wales and the Midlands bearing the brunt. Yesterday (10 November) about 140,000 homes were left without power as heavy snow and strong winds battered Britain, and temperatures dipped to as low as -12C on Sunday night in Northumberland. True to form, our wonderful readers have been busy snapping snowy rural scenes in […]

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 3:51 pm

Farmers Weekly

A family of beavers is to be released in an enclosed site in the Forest of Dean early next year, in the hope they will contribute to improving biodiversity and flood control near the village of Lydbrook. But farmer groups have expressed concern that any more widespread release of beavers could have a negative impact on farmland and the landscape, due to their physical activities of felling trees and building dams. See also: NFUS calls for measures to counter beaver […]

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 1:48 pm

Farmers Weekly

Last week the government announced to great fanfare that it and the EU had come to an agreement about citizens’ rights post Brexit. This will have a big impact on farms reliant on workers from other EU countries, particularly as Defra has made little noise about any new seasonal workers scheme. As employers, farmers need to keep up to date with how this develops so they can plan for their businesses and help keep their EU employees informed. So, what […]

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 12:46 pm

Farmers Weekly

Farmers played a crucial role keeping roads open and villages accessible following a weekend of widespread heavy snow across the UK. Snowploughs were hitched to tractors as farmers up and down the country cleared roads so people could travel and beat the worst of the winter weather. See also: 15 frustrating things about snow on the farm A snowplough driving through the village was a welcome sight in Shifnal, Shropshire. The snowplough coming through the village – what a welcome […]

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 12:25 pm

Farmers Weekly

Leicestershire farmer Charles Sercombe has been nominated to stand as a candidate in the NFU’s forthcoming leadership elections. Mr Sercombe, who is currently NFU livestock board chairman, has been nominated to run for the positions of NFU deputy and vice-president. He received nominations to run for both posts from NFU members in the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland group of counties. See also: More nominations emerge for NFU elections A further nomination was received from NFU Shropshire, with more nominations expected […]

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 11:15 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers are risking fines of up to £10m and lengthy prison sentences because they are unaware of tougher health and safety laws, a risk expert has warned. Judges could previously only impose custodial sentences in very specific circumstances, with fines in the lower courts limited to £20,000. But laws introduced in February last year handed authorities the power to fine businesses according to their turnover if they breached the Health and Safety at Work Act. Richard Wade of Lycetts Risk […]

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 6:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Dear Santa Gove I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need. I don’t care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree. All I want for Christmas is…an economically, scientifically and practically literate policy framework outlining a sustainable direction of travel for UK agriculture post-CAP which recognises and supports the essential role British farmers play in producing food for our population of 65 million. Ooooh, baby. Mr Gove, let us talk about neonicotinoids. You recently […]

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 5:55 am

Farmers Weekly

Good news that the Science Museum is to update its agricultural exhibit – no one wants to see a high-tech industry portrayed by a 1950s combine and people hoeing fields. By coincidence, I’ve been reading a book by John Stuart Collis, who at the outbreak of the Second World War volunteered to do farm work rather than military service. In The Worm Forgives the Plough, Collis looks back to when the tractor, combine and machine milking were coming in, but […]

The post Opinion: Farming in the past - no thanks appeared first on Farmers Weekly

Posted: December 9, 2017, 6:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Weeks of cold weather can be a test of endurance - and sometimes it can be the fairly small frustrations that most get to you. Farmer's wife Noreen Wainwright lists 20 things to drive you crazy about the snow

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Posted: December 8, 2017, 12:54 pm

Farmers Weekly

A comprehensive free-trade agreement between the UK and the EU is now looking more likely, avoiding the need for tariffs on agricultural goods traded between the two areas, Defra secretary Michael Gove has predicted. His comments follow the conclusion of the first phase of Brexit negotiations between the UK government and the European Commission, covering the terms of the divorce bill, arrangements for an open Irish border and citizens’ rights. See also: FW Brexit survey seeks farmer feedback On the […]

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Posted: December 8, 2017, 12:46 pm

Farmers Weekly

With Brexit negotiations entering a crucial stage and EU heads of state due to decide next week whether enough progress has been made to move on to trade talks, Farmers Weekly is seeking some feedback from readers. How do you feel about Brexit now? Take the Farmers Weekly survey and let us know. We are therefore re-running the survey we conducted this time last year to find out how farmers voted in the 2016 referendum, whether they would vote the […]

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Posted: December 7, 2017, 12:27 pm

Farmers Weekly

A police force recorded more than 300 incidents of hare coursing in just one month – the equivalent to 10 a day. In November, Lincolnshire Police said there were 306 incidents of hare coursing, giving a three-month total of 690 incidents. This, however, is a drop compared with 803 incidents recorded over the same period in 2016. See also: Hare coursing – what you need to know if your farm is targeted Some days there were no reports of hare […]

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Posted: December 7, 2017, 8:42 am

Farmers Weekly

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is coming under pressure to outline its Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) schedule as thousands of farmers remain unclear when they can expect their money. In contrast to previous years, when the RPA has been quick to announce early performance figures in the days after the annual payment window opening on 1 December, this year there has been silence. Earlier this year, the RPA’s responsibility for communications was moved Defra, whereas in the past the agency made […]

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Posted: December 7, 2017, 6:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Police in Devon are warning farmers to stay vigilant after thieves stole two tractors in the county over the past 10 days. Officers from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after the theft of a tractor from a farm in Bovey Tracey. The incident happened overnight on Thursday (30 November) or in the early hours of Friday (1 December). See also: 9 tips to combat farm theft during the darker nights A […]

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Posted: December 5, 2017, 10:25 am

Farmers Weekly

The UK’s departure from the European Union will have a lasting impact on farm profitability in Northern Ireland and Ireland, a senior Brussels adviser has warned. Whatever the eventual agreement on the Irish border, Brexit has major implications for the substantial trade in agricultural products between Ireland and the UK, said Tom Tynan. See also: No winners from Brexit, warns EU farm commissioner Mr Tynan is an Irish national who worked in the agri-food industry for nearly 20 years before […]

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Posted: December 4, 2017, 12:37 pm

Farmers Weekly

It was nearly a year ago that my wife surprised me with a combined present beneath the Christmas tree in the form of a Border Collie puppy and a hand-carved ash walking stick. “All I’ve heard since the referendum in June is  Brexit means we will have to change to a ‘dog and stick’ style of farming – so now you can get on with it,” she said with relish. See also: UK beef’s future lays with small-scale producers, says Stephen […]

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Posted: December 3, 2017, 5:50 am

Farmers Weekly

Last time I checked US agriculture, I discovered that over 50% of its poultry industry was under the control of just four conglomerates; 60% of its pig industry was also controlled by four corporations (some of which were also involved with poultry); and 80% of its beef was sold to – you’ve guessed it – four massive processors, some of whose tentacles spread across all sectors. It’s called vertical integration and in essence it makes the farmers who feed the […]

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Posted: December 2, 2017, 5:45 am

Farmers Weekly

Defra has announced new rules for farmers that aim to improve water quality across the country as part of its vision for a green Brexit. In summary, it will require farmers to keep soil on the land, match nutrients to crop and soil needs, and keep livestock fertilisers and manures out of the water. Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said the rules, which will come into effect on 2 April 2018, are a “win-win” for farmers and the environment. See also: […]

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Posted: December 1, 2017, 9:51 am

Farmers Weekly

A hard Brexit would be catastrophic for the EU beef and pigmeat sectors, costing a combined €4.7bn (£4.1bn), the European Livestock and Meat Trades Union (UECBV) has warned. The union has released a 30-page report – Crisis: The EU Meat Industry in a Hard Brexit scenario – analysing what could happen if Britain left the EU without a negotiated trade deal. The report suggested export costs would spiral because of additional custom checks, tariff barriers and health inspections. Those extra […]

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Posted: November 30, 2017, 10:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Industry leaders and politicians have launched a joint strategy for agriculture in Wales which includes proposals to increase output and create a brand for Welsh produce. The group Amaeth Cymru, or Agriculture Wales, is an industry-led venture partnered by the Welsh Government [see below]. In its strategy document – The future of agriculture in Wales (PDF) – Amaeth Cymru committed to growing output from farms to help make the industry more resilient and profitable.   See also: Tenants must choose […]

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Posted: November 30, 2017, 6:00 am

Farmers Weekly

The government hopes thousands of farmers will sign up to a streamlined version of its Countryside Stewardship scheme – helping to road test Defra’s post-Brexit approach to farm support. Due to open to applications next month, the simplified scheme aims to be easier for farmers to join, easier to comply with and easier to administer. It is expected to halve the amount of paperwork compared with the existing scheme. Defra minister George Eustice said the revamped scheme would also “road-test […]

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Posted: November 30, 2017, 6:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers and landowners are still searching for answers about how agriculture and food production fit in to the government’s environmental strategy. In a speech at a Country Land and Business Association (CLA) conference in London on Tuesday (29 November), Defra secretary, Michael Gove, repeated much of his Sunday Telegraph column from last week, saying the CAP had been bad for the environment. He again set out his vision of farmers being paid for environmental goods and also the benefits of using […]

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Posted: November 29, 2017, 2:47 pm

Farmers Weekly

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) must fulfil its pledge to pay 90% of farmers their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money this month, say farm leaders. The BPS 2017 payment window opens on Friday (1 December) and 88,000 eligible farmers and landowners will be anxious to know if they will be paid promptly. The Welsh government has already announced that 91% of farmers will receive their BPS money on 1 December. See also: Q&A – EFA rule changes farmers need to […]

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Posted: November 29, 2017, 11:43 am

Farmers Weekly

A Gloucestershire farmer has launched a £300,000 claim against the government after his land and livestock were repeatedly laid waste by floods from the River Severn. Christopher King claims the area around Minsterworth Ham has been pinpointed by the Environment Agency (EA) as a “flood-storage area” to protect nearby Gloucester from flooding, leaving the village to take the brunt of the damage. At a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday (28 November), his QC Hugh Mercer claimed the agency […]

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Posted: November 28, 2017, 2:15 pm


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