UK Agri News

Farmers Weekly

Plans to allow a range of leisure activities on access land in Wales could have a huge impact on farm businesses and wildlife, industry leaders have warned. The proposals would permit organised games, wild camping, hang gliding and paragliding on 460,000ha of Countryside Rights of Way (CRoW) land. The proposals are contained in a Welsh Government consultation document called Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. See also: Wales opposes further rights to roam – poll NFU Cymru described it […]

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Posted: August 22, 2017, 3:33 pm

Farmers Weekly

Merseyside Police have issued CCTV footage of three males they would like to talk to as part of an investigation into a suspicious farm fire. The fire broke out in stored bales at Home Farm, Chapel Lane, Rainhill, on Sunday 20 August at 4:40pm. Nobody was injured in the fire but agricultural machinery, straw and hay bales, suffered extensive damage, according to a police spokesman. See also: Arson attack prompts warning to keep straw stacks safe The spokesman added that […]

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Posted: August 22, 2017, 12:35 pm

Farmers Weekly

About 1,500 bales of straw have been destroyed in an arson attack in Wootton, Oxfordshire. Third-generation farmers Andrew and Hannah Goffe were alerted on Saturday 19 August by a neighbour that a fire had been started in their field, one of three sites farmed by the couple. Mrs Goffe told Farmers Weekly that a member of the public said they had witnessed a group of youths set fire to the bales, “for absolutely no reason, probably just to put it […]

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Posted: August 21, 2017, 2:27 pm

Farmers Weekly

Economists have clashed over whether Britain should open its doors to tariff-free food imports after the UK leaves the European Union. It follows a report which suggests Brexit could boost the UK economy by up to £135bn a year – worth about £5,000 a year to the average UK household. Due to be published in full this autumn, the 50-page study by Economists for Free Trade (EFT) suggests says the boost could also be accompanied by an 8% drop in […]

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Posted: August 21, 2017, 1:46 pm

Farmers Weekly

More than a bespoke customs deal is needed to ensure frictionless trade for agricultural exports after the UK leaves the EU, warns a report. A customs agreement is only half the story when reducing post-Brexit trade friction, argued the paper from the Institute for Government (IoG) think tank. Brexit will inevitably introduce friction to supply chains, said the document. See also: UK agriculture in precarious position on Brexit There is no model of a future or interim relationship after Brexit […]

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Posted: August 19, 2017, 5:01 am

Farmers Weekly

The NFU has outlined its plans to spread a message of positivity about the UK dairy industry ahead of a wave of anti-dairy activism planned for next week (21-27 August). Branded as the “Dairy Week of Action”, activists and vegan groups are expected to spread anti-dairy messages across the media and online, coinciding with World Plant Milk Day on 22 August. See also: 13 milk myths and misconceptions debunked The week of action follows a noticeable step up in recent anti-farming […]

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Posted: August 18, 2017, 10:01 am

Farmers Weekly

Northern Ireland farm leaders have expressed their “extreme concern” at official plans to extend a cap on payments farmers receive for their biomass boilers for at least another year. Earlier this year, the Department for the Economy introduced new rules designed to limit expenditure under the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. In particular, new tiered payments were introduced, limiting RHI payments to 6.7p/kWh for the first 1,314 hours on medium-sized (20kW to 199kW) biomass boilers, reducing to 1.5p/kWh thereafter, […]

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Posted: August 18, 2017, 10:00 am

Farmers Weekly

In a week in which the government set out more details of its post-Brexit objectives – including plans for a short transition period – Farmers Weekly news editor Philip Case caught up with chancellor Philip Hammond at the Chertsey Agricultural Show to explore his vision for Brexit and farming. Q.  Will we definitely be leaving the EU single market and customs union on 29 March 2019? A. Yes, we will, because they are intrinsic parts of the European Union. But that […]

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Posted: August 18, 2017, 8:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Planting and managing flower-rich mixes to support wild pollinators can bring an economic benefit to arable businesses by raising crop performance. Research conducted over six years by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has shown that by encouraging pollinating insects such as bees, farmers can make uncropped and cropped areas work together to improve crop yields and quality. Providing they choose the right measures for wildlife, put them in the right place and manage them in the right way, there […]

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Posted: August 18, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A Farmers Weekly investigation has exposed the chronic failure of police forces to tackle sheep rustling. A Freedom of Information (FoI) request for crime statistics held by all police forces in the UK has revealed that the problem is being ignored. We requested data on the number of reported thefts of sheep made to each of the 45 forces in the UK between April 2012 and April 2017. Thirty-one forces could provide data, including three from Wales. However, the Police […]

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Posted: August 18, 2017, 4:10 am

Farmers Weekly

British farmers are in a precarious position when it comes to Brexit, suggests a report examining possible future trading arrangements between the UK and EU. The year-long analysis examined the impact of three different post-Brexit trade agreements on UK agricultural productivity and prices. See also: Farm businesses must limber up for Brexit It was undertaken by economists from the Belfast-based Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in conjunction with the University of Missouri, USA. Their findings were published on Wednesday (16 August). […]

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Posted: August 17, 2017, 1:36 pm

Farmers Weekly

An agricultural company has been fined £10,000 for health and safety failings after a quad bike accident resulted in a child having his leg amputated. On 14 October 2015, the eight-year-old boy was allowed by James Kelly & Sons to ride on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) alongside a worker at Airdie Farm, Kirkbean, Dumfries and Galloway, which is owned by the boy’s parent. After 20 minutes of cutting grass on the farm’s hen range with an attached grass-cutting machine, the […]

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Posted: August 17, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A Land Rover featured in a video by the NFU Mutual lifting the lid on rural crime has been targeted by thieves just weeks after filming took place. Leicestershire dairy farmer Andrew Stafford appeared in one of the videos as up to six Land Rover Defenders have been stolen from his farm over the past 20 years. But since filming for the series, which also gives tips on preventing vehicle theft and sheep rustling, Mr Stafford’s current vehicle – the […]

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Posted: August 16, 2017, 11:40 am

Farmers Weekly

The majority of the general public would back government support to ensure a productive farming industry that looks after the environment after Brexit. Two-thirds of the 2,000 adults in England and Wales polled by the NFU for its Farmer Favourability survey said they agree with farmers being supported equally for their role in food production and looking after the environment. The vast majority, 90%, recognise that farming is important to the UK economy, with virtually the same amount, 89%, saying […]

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Posted: August 16, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Industry leaders have sounded an upbeat note after holding talks with chancellor Philip Hammond about the future of UK agriculture post Brexit. Mr Hammond, Conservative MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, attended the Chertsey Agricultural Show on Sunday (13 August) along with NFU president Meurig Raymond. Berkshire farmer Colin Rayner, president of the Chertsey Show, introduced Mr Raymond to Mr Hammond – and all three held talks about future farm policy for 40 minutes. See also: What’s driving future of farm […]

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Posted: August 16, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Northern Ireland-based NC Engineering is recalling a number of its more recently manufactured dump trailers as investigations into a fatal accident two years ago continue. A man in his late teens was fatally injured in October 2015 when he tried to unblock the tail door on the NC 300-series Power Tilt dump trailer he was operating, after a stone got jammed there. The incident is being investigated by the Health and Safety Authority for the Republic of Ireland. See also: Academy […]

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Posted: August 15, 2017, 2:00 pm

Farmers Weekly

A Wiltshire farming couple has described the stress and anguish caused by the appearance of a spectacular crop circle on the land they farm near Swindon. Shelley and Hardy Klindt manage 283ha of arable and livestock land, plus livery stables, for a landowner at Bydemill Farm, Hannington. “The first we knew of it was when I noticed a gate was open into one of our wheat fields on 4 August,” Mrs Klindt told Farmers Weekly. “We usually use a hole […]

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Posted: August 15, 2017, 1:22 pm

Farmers Weekly

Water companies are offering farmers in high priority catchment areas financial incentives to make the switch from metaldehyde to ferric phosphate slug pellets. Metaldehyde pellets can prove an expensive problem for the water industry if they are washed into watercourses because the pesticide is difficult to remove from drinking water supplies using current treatment methods. Severn Trent is running a voluntary “product substitution scheme” for farmers in the Derwent catchment area in Derbyshire who have traditionally used metaldehyde-based slug pellets. […]

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Posted: August 15, 2017, 5:05 am

Farmers Weekly

Sunday’s episode of Countryfile provoked widespread criticism from farmers on social media, following the show’s portrayal of what happens to dairy bull calves. One of the BBC 2 programme’s presenters, Tom Heap, said between 10,000 and 100,000 dairy bull calves were shot on UK farms every year, but was unable to find a farmer currently shooting newborn calves. See also: Opinion: Countryfile should champion farming Instead, the show used archive footage of a dairy farmer from 2008 who said he had […]

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Posted: August 14, 2017, 1:07 pm

Farmers Weekly

UK livestock groups are demanding that government “starts acting now” to win new markets around the world, as well as retaining existing ones, in the run-up to Brexit in 2019. A joint statement issued by 21 representative groups known as the UK Livestock Brexit Group agreed that Brexit presents “a tremendous opportunity for the UK livestock sector”. It also acknowledges government departments, together with the livestock sector, have “commenced the important process of finding new markets” since last year’s EU referendum. See […]

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Posted: August 14, 2017, 11:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A “deeply worrying” rise in farm thefts has prompted warnings that criminals targeting the countryside are becoming more brazen. Despite a 4% drop to £39.2m last year, the cost of rural theft rose sharply during the first half of 2017, according to the latest figures from insurer NFU Mutual. Early theft claims statistics show an increase of more than 20% for the first half of this year – raising fears of a new rural crime wave. See also: News background: […]

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Posted: August 14, 2017, 8:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Police are appealing to farmers for help in solving two large-scale sheep thefts. In Scotland, sheep rustlers struck at a farm at Braes Of Doune, near Comrie, in Perthshire between September last year and June this year. A total of 134 sheep, with a value of almost £10,000, were stolen. See also: 5,000 reward on offer to help find stolen sheep  The sheep are blackface ewes and hoggs, all with EID chips in their ear tags, which are marked with […]

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Posted: August 12, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Sustainability of farming was a focus at the recent Sustainable Food Trust conference in Llandovery and a Nestle conference in Vevey, Switzerland. Cumbria dairy farmer Robert Craig discusses some of the key take-home messages. 1. Understanding the limit of natural resources Harmony in Food and Farming was opened by the HRH the Prince of Wales, who explained in detail his own frustration and early self-doubt when he realised that we, as humans, “were separating what we are from what we do”.   […]

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Posted: August 12, 2017, 4:00 am

Farmers Weekly

CCTV could soon become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England as part of government plans to improve animal welfare standards. Defra launched a six-week consultation on Friday (11 August), which will make require CCTV in all areas where live animals are present in slaughterhouses a legal requirement, with unrestricted access to footage by official vets. The move will see the UK become a global leader in animal welfare standards, Defra secretary Michael Gove explained. See also: Cost of slaughterhouse CCTV monitoring […]

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Posted: August 11, 2017, 9:05 am

Farmers Weekly

The Farmers Weekly Awards 2017 finalists have been announced and the judges have visited each of the finalists for a three-hour interview and tour. This year’s finalists come from vastly different farms, but all share a tireless work ethic and an ability to employ highly specialised skills from an array of complex trades. They are the cornerstones of their farming businesses. See also: Book you table for the Farmers Weekly Awards 2017 night The 2017 Farmworker of the Year finalists are: Stephen Adams, Firs Farm, Caxton, […]

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Posted: August 11, 2017, 5:10 am

Farmers Weekly

Fly-tipping affects just under two-thirds of farmers and landowners, according to a Farmers Weekly survey. The online survey, carried out in July in association with CLA Insurance as part of Farmers Weekly’s Stop the Blot campaign, lays bare the crisis that criminals dumping rubbish in the countryside is causing. See also: Ultimate guide to farm security kit It also highlights the growing sense of frustration among landowners over the government’s approach to tackling the epidemic. More than half of the […]

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Posted: August 11, 2017, 5:01 am


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