• Shropshire farmer fined £16,000 for environmental offences

    On 16 April 2018, Telford Magistrates’ Court fined the 55 year-old £16,000 and ordered him to pay £20,000 in costs, along with a £170 victim surcharge.
    The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 and Sections 24(1) and (4) of the Water Resources Act 1991.
    The Environment Agency discovered that between May 2015 and April 2017, the Defendant had abstracted on average over 20,000 litres of water per day from a b
  • Live Animal Exports Ban would be ‘shortsighted’ says FUW

    A ban on live animal exports would be ‘remarkably shortsighted’ given the uncertainty around a post-Brexit trade deal and agricultural tariffs, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said.
    The UK and Welsh Governments yesterday (April 9) launched a call for evidence on a UK-wide ban on the export of live animals for overseas slaughter – something not possible while the UK remains part of the EU, due to EU free trade rules.
    FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We will naturall
  • Talks ongoing to avoid irrigation abstraction fee hike

    Innes Thomson, Chief Executive, ADAWater level management authorities across the country are continuing to raise significant concerns at the threat of licence fee hikes that could end up hitting the farmer’s pocket, following recent changes to water abstraction regulations.
    Previously and for many years, Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) have transferred water from main rivers to local drains for the benefit of farmers, who then abstract the water for irrigation. There are also environmental
  • FUW raises concerns about Welsh fodder shortages

    The Farmers’ Union of Wales says Irish fodder aid schemes highlight and add to concerns in Wales over the impact months of wet weather are having on fodder supplies and prices.
    Diminishing fodder supplies in the Republic of Ireland led the Irish Government to introduce a fodder transport subsidy scheme in January, with payments of between €3 and €17 per bale transported, depending on size.
    Meanwhile, dairy processors in the republic, which were previously sourcing fodder on the
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  • Sheep Shearers on their way to UK

    The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) is delighted to announce that that shearers will be allowed to enter the UK this year, in a time-limited window, to provide a vital source of highly skilled and experienced staff for shearing contractors removing the wool of millions of sheep this summer.
    A special Home Office concession will continue to allow this very specific group of non-visa nationals to travel to the UK, particularly coming from Australia and New Zealand, between
  • HRH The Prince of Wales launches Farm Resilience Programme at Louth Livestock Market

    HRH The Prince of Wales at Louth Livestock Market.
    Photo credit: Michael PowellToday (19th March) HRH The Prince of Wales attended Louth Livestock Market, to announce that Louth will be a new location for year three of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, and meet with key stakeholders involved in saving the mart.
    HRH took the opportunity to announce that the Farm Resilience Programme, run by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, would be opening in Louth in September to support up to 20
  • Duisburg municipal utility CHP plant equipped with urea injection system

    ETW Energietechnik delivers the first combined heat and power
    plants with “SCR” exhaust gas cleaning systemThe German CHP specialist ETW Energietechnik has delivered natural gas CHP units with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology for the first time. Thus, Stadtwerke Duisburg is the first user of Adblue technology from ETW. The family business from Moers comprises three plants with MWM engines of the type TCG 2020V12, each with an electrical output of 999 kilowatts.
    Efficien
  • Act quickly to avoid grid application fees

    Hugh Taylor, CEO Roadnight TaylorFarmers and landowners who are interested in energy generation or storage projects should act quickly to avoid potentially steep fees. From 6 April network operators in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to charge up-front fees for grid connection offers, which could run into thousands of pounds.
    Hugh Taylor, chief executive of independent power consultant Roadnight Taylor, recently surveyed a range of network operators to ascertain their plans. “Ever
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  • RPA continues to leave farmers in the dark over payments

    Over 3,000 farmers and growers are still in the dark over 2017 BPS payments, as the NFU continues its call for improved communications and efficiency from the RPA.
    Analysis by the NFU of new RPA figures revealed that more than 3,000 farmers are left waiting for their BPS payment, despite over 95% of farmers in England receiving their payment.
    The NFU’s key concerns are:
    · Unpaid farmers and growers still do not know the status of their 2017 claims ahead of completing forms for BPS
  • Farmers ploughing funds into animal welfare in 2018

    Study marks the launch of new capital grant scheme from McDonald’s offering farmers grants of up to £10,000 to drive innovation in animal welfare on their farmsNew research reveals that UK farmers are planning to invest more in animal welfare than any other aspect of their farm business in 2018. This comes as McDonald’s UK unveils a half million-pound capital grant scheme to help dairy farmers deliver animal welfare initiatives.
    The latest Farm Forward Barometer – part of
  • Student’s silage project aims to advise farmers on best practice

    Eliot GreenfieldA student’s study at Harper Adams University has found that grass silage of a shorter chop-length increases dairy cows’ dry matter intake and milk yields but that a longer chop-length increases the milk quality.
    The study also found that maize silage, when included in the diets of high yielding Holstein Friesians dairy cows, increases intake and milk yield without having a negative effect on rumen pH.
    Eliot Greenfield, from Cockermouth, Cumbria, completed the project
  • Administrators appointed to Countrywide Farmers Plc

    David Pike, Mark Orton and Will Wright from KPMG’s Restructuring practice have been appointed joint administrators to Countrywide Farmers Plc.
    The company, which employs approximately 735 people, is headquartered in Evesham, Worcestershire, and operates 48 retail stores across England and Wales selling a range of farming, equestrian, harvesting and agricultural supplies to consumers. It also has a distribution centre in Defford. No initial redundancies have been made as a result of the adm
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  • Lee Baker appointed as National Sales Director at Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC)

    Lee BakerThe Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) has announced the appointment of Lee Baker as its new National Sales Director.
    Born and bred on an Exmoor hill farm, Lee’s strong farming heritage brought him to the Agriculture team at Lloyds Bank in 2009, where Lee has spent the last seven years as Agricultural Relationship Manager based in the South West.
    The father of three from Somerset joined Lloyds Banking Group in 1984 and spent 24 years working in Lloyds Retail where he managed
  • Claydon appoints importer for Spain

    AG-Group headquarters, Tamarite de LiteraClaydon, a pioneer in direct strip seeding technology, has appointed AG-Group as the sole importer for its range of drills and stubble management equipment in Spain. AG-Group started off in 1987 as Vogel and Noot Espana S.A..and became AG-Group in 2017 following a management buy-out by General Manager Pascual Galindo
    AG-Group’s headquarters are in Tamarite de Litera, Huesca, northern Spain, with a network of more than 120 distributors across Spain a
  • Germinal appoints product development manager

    Forage expert Germinal has continued to strengthen its technical resources with the appointment of plant biologist Felicity Lenyk to the new position of Product Development Manager.
    Working alongside Germinal’s field sales team and interacting with the company’s newly established research station, Felicity will help bring new forage crops to market as well as look at alternative systems of utilisation for established crops.
    “There is a very strong drive across our livestock ind
  • New video shows what it means to be an organic farmer

    West Sussex organic farmer John Pitts, has launched a new video to explain what it really means to choose organic. The passionate farmer reveals the challenges behind the award-winning organic dairy and arable farming enterprise The Woodhorn Group.
    The video outlines The Woodhorn Group’s holistic approach to farming that prioritises the welfare of the animals, people and soil in its care as well as conservation of the local flora and fauna.
    The launch of the video comes at a time when con
  • LAMMA ’18 – announcement from Briefing Media

    LAMMA, the UK’s largest farm machinery, equipment and agricultural services show, has been unable to open to the public today due to safety reasons.
    High winds overnight caused serious damage to stands and structures across the East of England Showground, forcing the event to be closed early.
    Hundreds of visitors who arrived early were held at the entrance to the showground as safety officers surveyed the site. However, it became obvious that the decision to close the event early had to b
  • Happerley commits to creating member-owned entity to validate UK food provenance

    The Happerley Advisory Board at its first meeting held at Gloucester Services on 12 January 2018 From left: Chris Crookall-Fallon (Co-op Futures); Sian Edmunds (Burges Salmon); Peter Jinman OBE (chair); Matthew Rymer (Happerley founder); Clifford Freeman (Gloucester Beef); Adam Henson; Tim Bennett (former head of Food Standards Agency and past president of NFU); Will Bennett (Director, Dairy Partners); Phil Ponsonby (CEO Midcounties Co-op)Happerley, the food provenance organisation, held its ina
  • Environmental policy and food production must go hand in hand

    10,000 football pitches worth of flower habitat, creating homes for wildlife, have been plantedFarming and the environment must go hand-in-hand and producing quality, home-grown food is critical to the future of the country, say’s the NFU.
    It follows publication this morning of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan. Theresa May revealed details of the long-awaited and wide-ranging 150-page strategy during a keynote speech in south-west London.
    Farmers manage 70% of the nation&rsq
  • CHeCS farmers rewarded by Defra in new TB rules

    Launch of CHeCS TB programme in 2016 with (L to R) Farming Minister George Eustice, Bristol farmer Mike King and his vet Tom Oxtoby from The George Veterinary GroupThe role of CHeCS biosecurity measures in reducing the risk of a TB breakdown has been recognised in new Government rules, which will see participants in CHeCS TB herd accreditation programmes exempt from more frequent testing.
    The new Government rules, likely to be introduced in 2019 following a consultation last year, stipulate that
  • Farmer-led innovation provides policy inspiration at Agricology field day

    Richard Gantlett explaining how to keep soil healthyMore than 80 farmers, policy-makers, researchers, and representatives from the NFU and Wildlife Trust attended Agricology’s on-farm field event at Daylesford Farm in Oxfordshire last week focusing on the potential of reintegrating livestock, leys and arable to diversify the rotation.
    Bringing together participants of the annual Oxford Farming Conferences, this over-subscribed event enabled participants to discuss, share experiences, and l
  • Green gas can help Scotland meet energy goals

    Charlotte MortonGreen gas can make a key contribution to meeting the goals set out in Scotland’s first ever Energy Strategy, according to the UK’s trade body for anaerobic digestion (AD).
    Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), said:
    “The Scottish Government has set itself ambitious but necessary targets for generating renewable energy in its new Energy Strategy, and renewable heat and electricity produced through AD c
  • Farmers invited to take part in diverse cropping project to increase yields

    Winter pea – cereal mixture plots at Balruddery Farm. Picture credit : DIVERSifyThe Organic Research Centre, a leading independent research charity, is inviting UK farmers to participate in a new EU-funded project called DIVERSify which is investigating how to maximise the performance of crop mixtures (or plant teams) to improve yields while reducing the reliance on inputs.
    Dr Bruce Pearce from the Organic Research Centre said, “It is estimated that we will need a 70% growth in food
  • Gove: Tree planting rates have not been good enough

    Agroforestry – image: Woodland TrustEnvironment Secretary Michael Gove has given a strong indication that the Government’s 25 year plan for the environment, due in the New Year, will tackle the issue of woefully low tree planting.
    Speaking at the Woodland Trust’s parliamentary launch on Wednesday (December 6) of a series of essays outlining its vision for a post Brexit integrated land use policy, the Secretary of State said:
    “There is a responsibility for us to plant for
  • ADBA launches pioneering AD Certification Scheme at annual conference

    UK trade body the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) will today launch its pioneering AD Certification Scheme at the ADBA National Conference 2017 in London.
    The voluntary, industry-led scheme is designed to support operators of AD plants, including those based on farms, to improve their operational, environmental, and health and safety performance, in particular in terms of energy generation and digestate quality.
    ADBA has developed the scheme, working closely with indus
  • Midlands Machinery Show 2017 earns positive recognition from farming community

    Visitors at the Midlands Machinery Show 2017Inventive machines – there were plenty on show. Innovative ideas – many were shared. Yet the key talking point during the Midlands Machinery Show 2017, which took place on 22 and 23 November at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire, was the opportunity provided by the show to bring the agricultural industry together.
    Returning for the fourth year and organised by the Newark & Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society, the two-day farming eve
  • £20m investment in Wrexham poultry processing plant welcomed

    (Left to right) Director Mulkh Mehta, Commercial Director Steve Hammond, Lesley Griffiths, Ken Skates, Councillor John Pritchard, Managing Director Raj Mehta; and Finance Director Gurinder Sehmi mark the opening of Maelor FoodsMinisters from the Welsh Government and the Mayor of Wrexham have welcomed the opening of a new £20m poultry processing plant in Wrexham that is creating around 150 jobs.
    The state of the art facility will become fully operational later this year following the subst
  • Severn Trent reopens Environmental Grants Scheme for farmers

    Farmers in the Midlands are being given another opportunity to apply for a grant from Severn Trent to help them to protect local watercourses from pollution. The ‘Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme’ (STEPS), which is solely funded by the water company, supports farmers in making improvements to their farm management and infrastructure, reducing the risk of pollution from their land into local water courses.
    Jodie Rettino the Severn Trent Catchment Manager, commented: &ldqu
  • Spain Golden Pig Awards 2017

    Spain Golden Pig Awards 2017Over 800 professionals from the pork producing industry attended the Award Ceremony of the XXIV Porc D’Or Awards for excellence in the city of Segovia. At this event, the Institute for Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA), organiser of the awards, together with the co-organiser Zoetis, presented 49 statuettes to a total of 38 pork producers from six autonomous regions.
    The highest award, the Diamond Porc D’Or , went to the Sanglas Farm in San Cebri&aa
  • Rams deserve better attention

    The working lives of rams in commercial flocks could be improved if farmers gave them the attention they deserve in terms of health and nutritional needs.
    This is the conclusion of a new report looking at the longevity and welfare of rams, launched at the Sheep Breeders’ Round Table event in Nottingham this weekend (Sunday 19 November). The study was funded by the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and supported by the National Sheep Association (NSA).
    Report authors Lesley Stubbings and Kate
  • UK poised to ship trotters to China

    The UK has been given green light to ship pork products to China, AHDB has announced today (23 November).
    One of the country’s largest food producers has received official notification to start supplying pigs’ trotters to China, following a successful inspection by Chinese authorities.
    Two further facilities in Northern Ireland have also received the first ever approval to export all cuts of pork, including trotters.
    AHDB has identified China as a ‘very high’ potential m
  • New rules extend marketing standards for free range eggs hit by avian flu restrictions

    Producers of free range eggs will be allowed to continue to market their products as such even if their hens have restricted access to open-air runs because of influenza outbreaks following further changes to EU egg marketing standards.
    An initial amendment to the EU-wide standard from September 2017 allowed egg producers to continue to market their products as free range even if their hens had no open-air access for up to 12 weeks. The latest change, which comes into force on 25 November 2017,
  • Resistant diamondback moths now capable of surviving winter

    Diamond-back moth larvae and damage to cauliflower leafA ‘super pest’ moth resistant to a class of common plant protection is now also capable of surviving through the UK’s cold winter conditions, according to new research.
    Diamondback moth (DBM) caterpillars feed on crops including cabbage, broccoli, swedes and Brussels sprouts, causing cosmetic damage, which could result in the loss of up to 100 per cent of the crop. Brassicas were worth more than £200m to UK agricultu
  • Rapid increase in pesticide use and new evidence of health impacts of very low doses

    New evidence suggests pesticide use has seen a massive increase in the UK over the last 40 years, with a potential impact on human health, delegates at a Royal Society of Medicine conference have heard. This is in sharp contrast to the claim by the pesticide industry that use has halved.
    Using data extracted for the first time from their records by FERA Science Ltd, who hold UK Government data on pesticide use in farming, the research has found that pesticide active ingredients applied to three
  • Farmcare restructures for the future

    Following a lengthy review of its business, Farmcare has today announced a restructuring plan that will increase the economic resilience of its farms and ensure their long term prosperity.
    As part of this plan, Farmcare, a leading arable crop producer and land manager, will enter into a series of partnerships with leading farming businesses who will take over the operational management of the farms. The Board believes a partnership structure will continue to improve the productivity and performa
  • New gearbox broadens VW Amarok appeal

    New gearbox broadens VW Amarok appealVolkswagen Commercial Vehicles has broadened the appeal of its Amarok pick-up, introducing a manual gearbox option to the range in combination with the 204 PS engine. This reduces the entry price of the range by over £650 to £25,600 (basic RRP exc VAT and OTR), and so broadens the appeal of the popular pick-up to a wider audience.
    Until now, the Amarok has been available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive
  • New insight into mechanism making Black Sigatoka fungus less sensitive to crop protection

    Bananas with Black Sigatoka diseaseAn international team of scientists led by Wageningen University & Research has discovered a new genetic mechanism that makes the notorious Black Sigatoka fungus less sensitive to the main chemical crop protection products used against the disease. The discovery shines light on this increasingly reduced sensitivity and underlines the importance of developing banana varieties resistant to the fungus which causes Black Sigatoka.
    Pseudocerospora fijiensis, th
  • Farmers warned about use of treated wood chip for livestock bedding

    The Gwent branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales is warning farmers to ensure that wood chip bedding for livestock has not been sourced from treated wood, and that they have a U8 waste exemption registered with Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
    The warning follows after farmers in the Gwent area have been offered wood chip bedding, which in fact has been sourced from treated wood and can contain harmful and potentially hazardous substances.
    Good quality wood chip should be produced from untrea
  • Pan-European research boosts innovation and sustainability for UK organic dairy farming

    The Organic Research Centre in Newbury, Berkshire was a lead research partner in a major pan-European project that has culminated in the development of ground-breaking research and advice to help make the organic and low-input dairy sector more sustainable and competitive.
    In working with farmers and other stakeholders, methods were developed to identify opportunities and novel strategies to enhance profitability, such as changes in breeding, health management and feeding strategies, and provid
  • Moving beyond high yield as measure of success

    Dr Belinda Clarke and Prof Ian CruteAgri-Tech East and AHDB (the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) have announced a joint initiative to accelerate the adoption of innovation in the field. A new position of ‘Knowledge and Innovation Facilitator’ is being created to help deliver a programme of new projects. The announcement was made at Agri-Tech East’s REAP, the flagship conference for the agri-tech sector.
    Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, says: &ldqu
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  • Vets urge vigilance after Bluetongue-positive animals imported to England and Scotland

    The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called for renewed vigilance and responsible sourcing after Defra and Scottish Government announced that a number of cattle in a consignment from an assembly centre in France have tested positive for Bluetongue virus BTV-8.
    The animals entered the UK earlier this month destined for four farms in England (Preston and Kendal) and Scotland (Dumfries and Stirling). The virus was detected in some of the animals during routine post-movement tests. All of th
  • Crops evolving ten millennia before experts thought

    Professor Robin Allaby, credit University of WarwickProfessor Robin Allaby, in Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, has discovered that human crop gathering was so extensive as long ago as the last Ice Age, that it started to have an effect on the evolution of rice, wheat and barley – triggering the process which turned these plants from wild to domesticated.
    In Tell Qaramel, an area of modern day northern Syria, the research demonstrates evidence of einkorn being affected up to thirt
  • Barley scientists discover path to improved grain quality

    Barley spike (c) James Hutton InstituteScientists from the International Barley Hub have discovered a genetic pathway to improved barley grain size and uniformity, a finding which may help breeders develop future varieties suited to the needs of growers and distillers.
    In the latest issue of Nature Communications, cereal genetics researchers working with Professor Robbie Waugh and Dr Sarah McKim, at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee’s Division of Plant Sciences, exam
  • Consultation launched for future of Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ)

    Representatives from the sheep industry are being invited to share their views on whether the most frequently used price measure for prime lambs should be amended.
    Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ) weight bands is an average price for all lambs marketed within predefined weight bands and has been used consistently over many years. Also used as an indication of the ‘target range’ for marketing lambs, the use of SQQ has raised questions whether it is still fit for purpose in the curren
  • Building sustainability and resilience in organic supply chains

    Maintaining stability and confidence in supply chains could become increasingly complex in the face of an uncertain Brexit with potential changes in the way we trade with other nations. For an expanding organic market, a failure to understand and face these challenges could have consequences for future growth. With this in mind, Soil Association Certification has taken a closer look at organic supply chains in a new report that identifies key recommendations for building resilience and sustaina
  • Chr Hansen taps into billion dollar trends with fermented plant-based yoghurt cultures

    Chr Hansen has developed cultures for lacto-fermented soy and coconut yoghurts with the taste, texture and healthiness of traditional dairy.  ‘It’s still niche but we want to be the first innovators here,” the firm says.
  • TasFoods to take over Pyengana Dairy

    Australia’s TasFoods Group has announced the acquisition of the assets of Pyengana Dairy Company for a cash deal of A$1.55m (US$1.21m).
  • Westland Milk Products breaks even for 2016-17

    New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative, Westland Milk Products, has recovered from a loss in the 12 months ended July 31, 2016, to post a break-even profit before tax for the 2016-17 financial year.
  • Milk formats and three-in-one removed from Philippines sugar tax draft

    In the Philippines, a proposed excise tax on sweetened beverages will not cover milk and infant formula, as had been originally mooted. 

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