UK Agri News

Farmers Weekly

The image of waste plastic bobbing around on the ocean during an episode of the last series of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series put a new spotlight on to the world’s plastics problem. Since then there has been a huge increase in public and political attention given to the level of plastic we consume and where it ends up. When the government published its 25-year environment plan in January it pledged to reduce single-use plastics and increase plastics recycling. So […]

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Posted: April 21, 2018, 5:05 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers are being urged to complete a major survey examining the effect of crime in the countryside The National Rural Crime Survey aims to measure the personal, social and economic cost of rural crime and anti-social behaviour across the country. The last survey took place in 2015, when 13,000 people responded to give their impressions of crime and anti-social behaviour. Results revealed that the financial cost of rural crime to the country was significant – totaling an estimated £800m every […]

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Posted: April 21, 2018, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Ploughing through Defra’s Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit consultation, I recalled the passage in Shakespeare’s King Lear in which the Duke of Albany warns that “striving to better, oft we mar what’s well”. Put another way, in aiming for unattainable perfection, we easily damage what we already possess. See also: Gove warns against ‘vested interests’ in post-Brexit debate This is the risk the government’s environmentally focused Green Brexit poses to […]

The post Opinion: Farming is losing out to single-issue groups appeared first on Farmers Weekly

Posted: April 21, 2018, 4:15 am

Farmers Weekly

Getting a trade deal for British farmers after Brexit will be harder than the government thinks, MEPs have warned. A leaked letter signed by a cross-party group of MEPs suggests international trade secretary Liam Fox has underestimated how difficult it will to secure a good trade deal. The private correspondence, obtained by The Independent, asks Mr Fox for a progress report on keeping access to global markets after the UK leaves the EU. See also: Act now to influence farm […]

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Posted: April 20, 2018, 2:58 pm

Farmers Weekly

French MPs have banned food manufacturers from labelling vegetable-based products as meat substitutes. The ban, agreed on Thursday (19 April) will effectively see an end to products labelled as soya “steaks”, vegetarian “sausages” and vegan “cheese”. French lawmakers ruled that to market vegetable-based products as meat substitutes is “misleading” for consumers. See also: Opinion – Don’t waste time arguing with vegan campaigners online The ban was proposed by MP and farmer Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who said the move would “better inform” […]

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Posted: April 20, 2018, 2:54 pm

Farmers Weekly

Fraudsters are targeting UK farmers as unwitting middlemen in an international farm machinery scam which is costing victims thousands of pounds. The scam involves creating fake websites using business details based on real farms. The websites are then used to advertise non-existent tractors and equipment for sale at bargain prices –  luring in victims who pay hefty deposits for farm machinery that doesn’t exist. See also: Farmers told to consider insurance cover for cybercrime Philip Weston, of Hartwell Park Farm, Northampton, […]

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Posted: April 20, 2018, 4:55 am

Farmers Weekly

A Shropshire dairy farmer has been ordered to pay £36,170 after pleading guilty to illegally abstracting water and failing to properly manage nitrate pollution. The Environment Agency (EA) discovered Edward Fair, of Peatswood Farm, Market Drayton, abstracted more than 20,000 litres of water per day from a borehole on the farm without an abstraction licence, between May 2015 and April last year. Between October 2016 and last April, the 55-year-old was abstracting an average of 67,000 litres of water per […]

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Posted: April 19, 2018, 12:10 pm

Farmers Weekly

An agriculture Bill detailing government plans for farming post-Brexit is expected to be published in the second half of this year, Defra secretary Michael Gove told MPs. The Bill would be published after the government had considered all the responses to Defra’s Health and Harmony consultation on the future for farming, Mr Gove told a hearing of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on Wednesday (18 April). See also: Gove warns against ‘vested interests’ in post-Brexit debate The consultation includes […]

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Posted: April 19, 2018, 7:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A senior Defra adviser has urged more farmers to respond to the government’s agriculture consultation to balance the bulk of views coming from green lobby groups. Speaking at an NFU South East meeting in Basingstoke on Tuesday (17 April), Tim Leunig, who will assist Michael Gove on Brexit farm policy, said farmers should not delay in responding to Defra’s Health and Harmony consultation, which closes on 8 May. Prof Leunig, a professor of economic history at the London School of […]

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Posted: April 19, 2018, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers are being warned about the danger of “sleepwalking into Brexit” without a proper vision and plan for their businesses. Speaking at an NFU South East meeting in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on Tuesday (17 April), Tom Hind, chief strategy officer at the AHDB, urged farmers to start planning now. Mr Hind said Defra secretary Michael Gove had already indicated the direction of travel for UK agriculture and there were three “givens” that farmers should expect. See also: UK farmers eclipsed by […]

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Posted: April 19, 2018, 4:38 am

Farmers Weekly

The Scottish government has unveiled a £250,000 fund for farmers who have lost livestock in recent bad weather. Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said the funding would help farmers offset the cost of retrieving dead cattle and sheep. See also: NFU joins calls for three-crop rule exemption Severe weather had caused a rise in sheep and cattle deaths and the financial support would be provided to those incurring additional costs of deadstock disposal. Other measures include action to address livestock feed […]

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Posted: April 18, 2018, 10:41 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers are losing thousands of pounds to criminals who are setting up fake websites offering tractors and other equipment for sale. Buyers looking for bargains are being hoodwinked into paying deposits – only to find out too late the machines don’t exist. Nigel Wellings, of rural insurance brokers Farmers & Mercantile, says two of his farmer clients have been used as unwitting middlemen in the scam. The criminals set up the fake websites based on real farms so they look […]

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Posted: April 18, 2018, 9:26 am

Farmers Weekly

The government must do more to punish fly-tippers and “shift the onus” away from innocent, private landowner victims, say MPs. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efra) chair Neil Parish MP said current legislation “punishes people who do not perpetrate the crime in the first place”. Speaking at a Westminster Hall debate on fly-tipping on Tuesday 17 April, Mr Parish said the government must take action to shift the burden of responsibility away from private landowners. See also: The story […]

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Posted: April 18, 2018, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A major crackdown on the illegal hare coursing “season” in Lincolnshire has seen incidents drop by 30%. Lincolnshire Police said there were 1,365 incidents reported by residents in 2017-18 – compared with 1,965 in 2016-17. Officers seized 76 dogs being used for hare coursing and 45 people were arrested or reported for summons. See also: Hare coursing – what you need to know if you are targeted Another 58 people were served with dispersal notices, forcing them to leave the […]

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Posted: April 17, 2018, 8:38 am

Farmers Weekly

Rural crime is having a profound effect on farming in many parts of the country. So much so, the NFU has identified dealing with this issue as its number one domestic priority outside of Brexit. Much of the crime in urban areas is also relevant to rural parts, such as general theft, vehicle-related theft, violence, arson and burglary. However, farmers are increasingly having to deal with unique issues, including hare coursing, poaching, fly-tipping, livestock theft and worrying. See also: Farm […]

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Posted: April 16, 2018, 3:25 pm

Farmers Weekly

A gang of masked men with a machete terrorised a family in Scotland while stealing cash, jewellery and a Range Rover from their farmhouse. The family, who live at Castlehill Farm in the Kittochside area of East Kilbride, were woken up at 4am on Saturday (14 April) to the sound of smashing glass. The 55-year-old man, 56-year-old woman and their 26-year-old son went downstairs to find four men, who threatened them with violence and demanded they hand over their money […]

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Posted: April 16, 2018, 11:03 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers and landowners are being urged to tell Neil Parish MP their experiences of fly-tipping in the countryside ahead of a parliamentary forum on the issue. Mr Parish, chairman of the influential Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, is leading a debate about the impact of fly-tipping in rural areas – and he wants to hear your experiences. The two-hour Westminster Hall debate will take place on Tuesday (17 April). It will be broadcast live on Parliament TV. See also: […]

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Posted: April 16, 2018, 10:52 am

Farmers Weekly

Having imposed a moratorium on all further machinery expenditure on my farm until after Brexit, it’s not often that my eyes are drawn to the Machinery section of Farmers Weekly. But one headline did grab my attention recently: Toyota Land Cruiser nears 500,000 miles (Machinery, 16 March). I once owned one of these magnificent pieces of Japanese engineering and can confirm they are almost indestructible.  See also: Toyota Land Cruiser hits 484,000 miles I’m no mechanic, but even under my […]

The post Opinion: Longevity not the whole story with 4x4 ownership appeared first on Farmers Weekly

Posted: April 15, 2018, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Princess Anne has presented a lifetime achievement award to industry commentator Barry Wilson for his contribution to the dairy sector. The Princess Royal Award – made annually by trustees of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers – was presented to Mr Wilson at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (11 April). See also: How to use dairy genomics to full potential Mr Wilson was chosen as the unanimous winner for his insight into dairy politics over the past 40 years – […]

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Posted: April 15, 2018, 4:55 am

Farmers Weekly

With just two weeks to go until the closing date, if you haven’t already entered or nominated someone for a Farmers Weekly Award this year, there’s no better time to grab your chance for a moment in the spotlight.  Still not sure if this competition is for you? Find out what it feels like to be a winner from those who know – last year’s Farmers of the Year, all of whom will also be judging in their category this […]

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Posted: April 14, 2018, 5:01 am

Farmers Weekly

Few would deny Michael Gove is a switched-on politician who gets things done. In the nine months or so since he became Defra secretary he has learned his brief quicker than most. But, clever as he is and despite lots of farm visits in his new rubber boots and shooting jacket, he hasn’t picked up all there is to know about our industry. The trouble is, he thinks he has. See also: Successful establishment – how to get your crops […]

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Posted: April 14, 2018, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Police are appealing for witnesses after a farmer was stabbed while trying to apprehend thieves who had stolen his quad bike. It follows an alleged altercation between five men in a layby on the A465 at Abergavenny between 2pm and 3pm on Monday (9 April). Gwent Police say they are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the incident. It is understood that three vehicles – described as a black […]

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Posted: April 13, 2018, 2:44 pm

Farmers Weekly

UK farming is lagging behind its key competitors in terms of productivity, as a report from the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) reveals. It showed that producers in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the USA have all pulled ahead, generating far more agricultural output for the same levels of agricultural input. The AHDB suggests this productivity deficit has cost the UK economy more than £4bn since the start of the century. And part of the problem is the lack […]

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Posted: April 13, 2018, 5:15 am

Farmers Weekly

British food and farming is in the spotlight like never before and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape its future. Six weeks ago, Defra secretary, Michael Gove, launched the Health and Harmony consultation, a command paper to develop a new policy for food, farming and the environment post-Brexit. This is arguably the most significant development in government for farming since the end of World War II and the passing of the 1947 Agriculture Act. See also: Gove plans […]

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Posted: April 13, 2018, 4:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers have voiced deepening concern after a Defra adviser suggested reintroducing wildcats to the English countryside – and offered to bankroll the scheme himself. It is the latest controversial suggestion from Ben Goldsmith, the millionaire environmentalist appointed as a non-executive member to the Defra board by Michael Gove earlier this year. “The wildcat is much smaller than the Lynx and still exists in Britain, albeit in tiny numbers that cling on in western Scotland,” he tweeted. See also: Gove appoints […]

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Posted: April 12, 2018, 9:16 am

Farmers Weekly

Farmers and rural drivers are being urged to take care on country roads peppered with potholes caused by bad weather and lack of maintenance. Rural insurer NFU Mutual has raised concerns about suggestions that some rural roads are in such a bad state they could be closed altogether due to lack of funding. Motorists are facing “huge problems” because of poorly maintained roads, a higher risk of accidents and a lack of gritting during the winter months, said NFU Mutual […]

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Posted: April 11, 2018, 3:05 pm


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