UK Agri News

Farmers Weekly

One sheep was killed and two others were injured following a dog attack in Wales on Monday (26 June). The incident happened after two Jack Russell dogs escaped from a home and attacked a flock of sheep in north Wales. A picture paints a thousand words….. A dead sheep, a distraught farmer and a rural police officer All too common for our team#lead — RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime) June 26, 2017 Officers from the North Wales Rural Crime team gave regular […]

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Posted: June 27, 2017, 5:08 pm

Farmers Weekly

The UK dairy sector faces real challenges in recruiting its future workforce, with few British adults willing to work on dairy farms. According to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by the RABDF, just 4% of UK adults said they would find all key aspects of working on dairy farms personally acceptable. With Brexit likely to impose further restrictions on the availability of overseas labour, the organisation is concerned the domestic workforce cannot be relied upon to plug any labour shortages. […]

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Posted: June 27, 2017, 3:04 pm

Farmers Weekly

More than half of farmers have been targeted by rural criminals over the past 12 months, according to a survey by NFU Mutual. The survey, Farming Snapshot: How rural crime affects you, found 56% of farmers said they had been a victim of rural crime over the past year. And 47% of farmers who responded said they had been a victim of crime more than once in that period.   See also: Police team up with farmers to fight rural crime […]

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Posted: June 27, 2017, 8:45 am

Farmers Weekly

A farmer who introduced a “traffic light” sign system on footpaths to remind dog owners to act responsibly around livestock says it has been a big success. Rob Brown took action after a horrific case of sheep worrying left three ewes dead, four seriously injured and multiple lambs orphaned. The attack happened at 88ha North Brierton Farm, in Hartlepool, County Durham, on fields with public footpath access that are regularly used by dog walkers. See also: The law on shooting dogs […]

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Posted: June 27, 2017, 7:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has apologised for delivering late support payments to farmers – with more than one in four claimants left waiting for their money. Ms Sturgeon issued the apology after it emerged the Scottish government had applied to Brussels for extra time to deliver the payments – just hours after rural cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing suggested payments were almost complete. See also: Scotland applies for extra time to make farm payments – again EU rules mean 95% […]

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Posted: June 26, 2017, 2:19 pm

Farmers Weekly

While breakfasting at my local agricultural show, I find myself sat next to a well-respected land agent (if that is not a contradiction in terms).   As we munched our way through a traditional full English, I ventured the question of how he thought English farmers might fare after Brexit.  “I regularly see about 400 sets of farm accounts in the course of the work I do,” he said. “Take the BPS money out of them and it doesn’t bear thinking about.” […]

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Posted: June 24, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Leaving the EU customs union will put the UK at a major disadvantage after Brexit, and all sides will have to work together to try to mitigate the damage, according to EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan. The EU has 53 free trade agreements around the world, directly or indirectly involving 138 countries, he told dairy industry representatives at this week’s Dairy UK annual dinner. See also: Dairy sector accused of organised animal cruelty “Leaving the customs union risks that agriculture […]

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Posted: June 24, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

A 10-year transition period will be needed for farmers to adjust to life after Brexit, Scottish industry leaders have warned. NFU Scotland said it could take a decade for the industry to adapt to a new agricultural policy after the UK leaves the EU. Speaking at the Royal Highland Show, union president Andrew McCornick voiced frustration that little progress has been made on Brexit since the EU referendum a year ago. See also: Scots’ anger as Westminster prepares to leave EU single market […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 9:48 am

Farmers Weekly

The freefall of the pound since the referendum vote 12 months ago has been something of a lifeline for British farmers.  However, this “Brexit boost” could be short-lived and businesses should prepare.  The pound’s 30-year low has helped farmers reeling after three years of low commodity prices, by making UK exports more competitive and 2016 BPS payments worth 19% more than 2015 (see “Outputs” and “Inputs” below for more).  But the “double-edged sword”, says Anand Dossa, economist at the NFU, […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 9:41 am

Farmers Weekly

The Scottish government has applied for an extra three months to make support payments to farmers – just hours after claiming it was days away from almost completing payouts. European Union rules require that Pillar 1 payments should be made by 30 June. But the government has requested that the deadline be extended until 15 October. It is the second consecutive year that Scotland has applied for a payment extension – meaning farmers still waiting for their money face a further […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 7:30 am

Farmers Weekly

The number of seasonal workers coming to work on British farms has dropped 17%, leaving some farms critically short of people to harvest fruit and vegetables. This is the headline figure in the NFU’s latest survey on the Supply of Seasonal Labour to British Horticulture Farms, published on Friday (23 June). The NFU warned that some farms would be critically short of migrant labour this harvest. Meanwhile, a BBC survey of growers between 16 May and 5 June found 78% […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 7:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Machinery manufacturers are facing calls to install external “kill switches” to all new tractors so engines can quickly be turned off in an emergency. Farm leaders say manufacturers could do more to make tractors safer to operate from outside the cab – despite several high-profile campaigns aimed at reducing the number of farm accidents resulting in serious injury or death. A motion requesting that tractor manufacturers should be required to install external stop controls to all new machines was unanimously […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

One year to the day since the EU referendum, agents are reporting little evidence of a leave vote having a significant effect on the UK farmland market. Supply has neither dropped significantly nor risen sharply, and plenty of deals have been done.   Examples of offers being withdrawn or launches being cancelled are few and far between. See also: Unpredictable South West land market could perk up this year However, Farmers Weekly has been told of a number of subtle shifts in […]

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Posted: June 23, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Claims of orchestrated animal cruelty were directed at leading UK dairy sector representatives as they arrived for the annual Dairy UK dinner in London on Wednesday (21 June). Farmers and milk processors gathering for the event at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, were met with a barrage of noise and criticism from about 50 animal rights protesters and vegans on the pavement outside. See also: Arla ‘growth hormone monster’ advert banned in US Passers-by were handed leaflets denouncing the “unnatural” practice […]

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 1:21 pm

Farmers Weekly

Police in North Yorkshire have launched a region-wide summer crackdown on rural crime, which includes a collaborative approach with farmers to snare criminals. Led by North Yorkshire Police’s rural taskforce, Operation Countryside will bring together police officers, specialist units, volunteers and partners, including farmers and landowners. The operation aims to create a “hostile environment” for those intending to commit crimes, with a particular focus on the Scarborough and Ryedale areas. See also: Video – Farmers’ top tips to fight rural […]

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 1:10 pm

Farmers Weekly

The Scottish government is on a collision course with Westminster over the prospects for agriculture once the UK leaves the EU. Speaking at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday (22 June), Scottish rural cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing said retaining tariff-free access to the EU single market was crucial for Scottish farming. His comments are at odds with prime minister Theresa May who insists the UK will leave the single market and the customs union when it leaves the EU. See also: […]

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 11:10 am

Farmers Weekly

Farm leaders have welcomed the new Agriculture Bill mentioned in the Queen’s Speech, and called on the industry to work closely with ministers to strike the best deal for food and farming. The Bill will be introduced over the next two years to deliver on the Conservative manifesto pledge to “provide stability for farmers as we exit the EU” to ensure an effective system is in place to support UK farmers and protect the natural environment. It will replicate the […]

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Posted: June 22, 2017, 7:49 am

Farmers Weekly

A tractor driver had a lucky escape after his vehicle burst into flames while carrying a trailer full of silage. The incident took place on Monday afternoon (19 June) on the A30 in Henstridge, Somerset. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service sent two crews to the scene after the fire was reported at 1.16pm. See also: Let’s work together to improve farm safety record  When firefighters arrived, they found the John Deere tractor well alight and crews used jets […]

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Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:43 am

Farmers Weekly

Defra secretary Michael Gove has pledged “open and frank dialogue” with farmers as the government develops its post-Brexit agricultural policy. Mr Gove was speaking to farm leaders and fellow parliamentarians during an NFU reception at the House of Commons, London, on Tuesday (20 June). It is vital the industry and government work together honestly and effectively as new policies and support systems are devised for the agricultural sector, he said. “One thing will be critical – and that will be […]

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Posted: June 21, 2017, 8:22 am

Farmers Weekly

A major shortage of migrant workers to harvest crops this summer is being reported by UK farmers and food processors. NFU horticulture chairman Ali Capper issued the warning during a union council meeting at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on Tuesday (20 June). Findings from the NFU’s latest labour survey – due to be published later this week – are expected to confirm a shortfall in seasonal workers of up to 20%. See also: Horticulture under pressure as migrant workers shun farms […]

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Posted: June 20, 2017, 1:28 pm

Farmers Weekly

A farmer may be forced to take down his wind turbine after judges ruled the impact on a nearby listed church had been ignored. Colin Bagley erected the 41.8m (147ft) high single wind turbine at Upper Pengarth, Llandeilo Graban, near Builth Wells, last summer. Powys County Council had granted planning consent for the turbine in May 2015. See also: Business Clinic – Will a wind turbine affect inheritance tax?  But London’s Court of Appeal overturned the permission and ordered the […]

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Posted: June 20, 2017, 9:28 am

Farmers Weekly

Several members of the food and farming industry have been awarded for their services in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, who farms in Perthshire, was awarded an MBE for his services to the farming industry in Scotland. Mr McLaren, 49, who is married to Shona and has two sons, two daughters and two stepdaughters, has been chairman of QMS since he served as NFU Scotland president from 2007 to 2011. See also: Farming […]

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Posted: June 20, 2017, 5:00 am

Farmers Weekly

Pro-Brexit politicians made lots of pledges ahead of last year’s referendum. But some are nearer becoming reality than others. Pledge one “Let’s get one thing straight. The UK government will continue to give farmers and the environment as much support – or perhaps even more – as they get now.” George Eustice, 23 March 2016 Mr Eustice said the government met this pledge by guaranteeing farm payments until 2022. But the NFU fears British farmers will be disadvantaged if UK support […]

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Posted: June 19, 2017, 2:49 pm

Farmers Weekly

Two runaway pigs caused chaos on the M27 near Fareham, Hampshire, on Sunday (18 June) afternoon. Traffic along a stretch of the busy motorway was brought to a standstill after the pigs escaped from a field and trotted across the road. Hilarious images have since emerged on social media of police officers and motorists working together to try to catch the pigs. See also: Police haul farmer from tractor as he tackles illegal rave Hannah Phillips posted a video on […]

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Posted: June 19, 2017, 10:00 am

Farmers Weekly

New Defra secretary Michael Gove has been accused of performing a U-turn over pledges that Brexit would present an opportunity to import cheaper food into the UK. During the EU referendum campaign, Mr Gove promised British consumers they would benefit from cheaper food because of more imports from outside the EU. In a previous interview with the Daily Mail, he suggested an independent Britain “could choose to strike free-trade agreements with emerging economies and lower tariffs”. “He [Mr Gove] told voters […]

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Posted: June 19, 2017, 8:58 am

Farmers Weekly

An EU-wide “citizens’ initiative” petition calling for a ban on glyphosate has passed the one million signatories mark, adding further impetus to political attempts to remove the popular weedkiller from the market. The petition was launched last February by a coalition of environmental pressure groups. It is demanding a ban on glyphosate “to protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides”. It is also calling for reforms to be made to the pesticides approval procedure, and EU-wide mandatory reduction targets […]

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Posted: June 18, 2017, 5:00 am


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