1. News
    Created by News
    Feb 19, 2018 at 1:33 PM
    Not sure how much coverage there have been of this part of the Space X mission:

    SpaceX Will Launch the First of Its Global Internet Satellites

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    With the Heavy’s test flight complete, SpaceX is back to business as usual. Or maybe not. What seems like a routine launch this week may have greater implications for the company’s future and profits.

    The launch’s primary mission is to deliver Paz, an observational satellite heavily financed by the Spanish Ministry of Defense, from the company’s pad in California. Paz won’t be riding alone on its recycled Falcon 9 though; SpaceX quietly loaded two experimental broadband satellites—built in-house—atop the rocket.

    Read the full article here:

    https://www.wired.com/story/watch-spacex-launch-the-first-of-its-global-internet-satellites/

  2. News
    Created by News
    Feb 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM


    Quality Standard Mark lamb and speciality cheeses are being showcased this week at one of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade shows.

    The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has returned to Gulfood in Dubai, joining more than 5,000 exhibitors and around 97,000 attendees from 185 visiting countries.

    Held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the 23rd edition of the show runs until Thursday and will showcase thousands of food and beverage products as well as providing a wealth of new business opportunities for exporters.

    AHDB is exhibiting a range of lamb products in the Meat Pavilion as well as a selection of speciality cheeses in the Dairy Hall. AHDB’s Halal Manager Awal Fuseini will also be speaking at a halal meat workshop organised jointly by Gulfood and EuroMeatNews.

    The show has a reputation for giving exporters the opportunity to enhance current sales in the region and attract new business from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

    AHDB’s Senior Export Manager for Livestock Jonathan Eckley said: “Gulfood is a major event which allows our lamb exporters the opportunity to build and enhance their relationship with importers.

    “Although this is not a new market, it is an important show for high-quality lamb in the United Arab Emirates and beyond and it is vital that we continue to explore markets outside of Europe as we look to the future.”

    At the event, AHDB Dairy will exhibit alongside The Fine...
  3. News
    Created by News
    Feb 18, 2018 at 5:50 PM
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    A special fund to prepare farmers for Brexit would in some cases be "income support for super rich", an MP says.

    Newport West's Paul Flynn sits on the Commons' environment committee but opposes a recommendation in a report on how leaving the EU could impact the food trade.

    The Labour MP said a special fund should not be set up to help.

    Committee chairman, Tory Neil Parish, said the government should help farmers adapt to new trading circumstances.

    Farmers have already been guaranteed subsidies at the current EU level until the 2022 election and the proposed fund would be in addition to this.

    Read the full article on the BBC Website...
  4. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 6:24 PM
    And so, the NFU is upon us, and our chosen delegates will have to select a new President. And according to all the pundits, it’s gonna be that blonde maid Minette.
    This matter doesn’t altogether please me.

    I am a member, although I play no part in local or national NFU doings or politics*, so it’s hardly surprising that I know just about nothing the actual workings of the AGM. I’m not in the least whingy about this. It’s my choice not to be much involved, which is fine.

    *I am quite often used by regional staff, on matters where they feel my input might be of use, and lend a hand wherever I can. And by writing for them, I suppose I’m giving my tacit support. They are, by a country mile, our most efficient lobby group. I know from personal experience that the NFU does far more for all of us than is generally recognised.

    And so…. I don’t know who is representing me at the AGM, to vote for office bearers on my behalf. Obviously, I might very well know the individuals personally, but I don’t know who is doing the voting.

    In case any of them are reading…here’s my take on it.

    For the first time in a while, a candidate has presented himself who has already caught my ear on numerous occasions. Guy Smith is, and clearly has been, a practical farmer to his boot straps. Through his exposure in both the conventional media, and lately the techno social meja –such as this very forum, he is well known to many farmers, and not a few outside farming. I note he was the other farmer...
  5. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 1:09 PM
  6. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 11:16 AM
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    A FARM charity is looking for farms willing to host occasional school visits.

    FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) is a charity that exists to educate young people about food, farming and the countryside.

    David Etheridge, FACE North East Education Coordinator, said: “A visit to a working farm can and should form part of every child’s education.

    “A farm visit will support curriculum learning, but also help children and young people become better connected to the issues that shape our region and our world.”

    FACE is often approached by schools that would like to visit a working farm – most recently two from the Middlesbrough area were in contact.

    Mr Etheridge said they try to put schools in touch with local farms to keep their travel time and cost as low as possible.

    “We also help schools and farmers with any safety concerns, and can sometimes offer to accompany a visit,” he said.

    “Ideally we like to see schools establishing a long-term link with a local farm.

    Read more here...
  7. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 11:12 AM
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    Love them or loathe them genetically modified (GM) crops and food are a global fact of life. For years the debate on them here has been largely academic, because decisions about what can and cannot be grown are down to the European Commission. This means the UK government has not had to take a position although it has generally been more positive than others in the EU, including France and Germany. However with Brexit the government will no longer be able to hide behind Brussels. Instead it will have to decide a policy for the UK.

    The DEFRA Secretary, Michael Gove, who is driving agricultural policy is certainly delivering mixed messages. He says he wants the UK to gain from having a technically efficient, progressive farming industry. At the same time he is promising a green Brexit, and the world’s highest animal welfare standards. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but that is how they are seen by the general public. A farming industry embracing technology, including GM, can be green but that is not how controversial technologies are seen. The decisions taken will have major and long term implications for agriculture. If the government opts to be radical over GM it would be controversial with a lot of farmers, and certainly with the green lobby. No matter what the science may say, this is an emotional argument that would be difficult to win. If the UK broke away...
  8. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 11:07 AM


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    The couple behind Goat Ireland in Co. Galway have said broadband services in so many parts of the country are so poor that it is like rural Ireland has been “rubbed off the map.”

    Dubliner Ami Madden and her partner, Paul Davis, produce goat meat on their rented 32ac farm in Dunmore. Having started out almost four years ago with sheep, they now specialise in goat rearing. “We have about 150 goats here at present – some for meat, some pedigree Boers and some Boer bucks,” said Ami.

    “From next week on we will be taking in the baby 50/50 breeds from the dairies.

    By the end of March there could be another 400 young goats here. We have been taking orders from people interested in rearing goat as part of a producers’ group. So, a number of them will leave for other farms.

    The couple continue to keep some sheep that they sell directly to customers as mutton and lamb. It’s a busy lifestyle but their broadband simply isn’t keeping up.

    Read the full article here...
  9. News
    Created by News
    Feb 17, 2018 at 11:05 AM
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    How to help protect lambs and calves against coccidiosis?

    Coccidiosis is a serious disease that can result in significant economic losses so managing the disease is imperative to ensure healthy young stock.

    Managing coccidiosis, and reducing the impact of coccidial infections, depends on allowing a low level of exposure, so that young stock can develop immunity, but preventing levels of infection that will cause decreased growth rates or clinical disease.

    Matthew Colston, a ruminant technical vet at Elanco, offers the following guidance on how to protect lambs and calves against this parasite:

    Read full article here...
  10. News
    Created by News
    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:49 PM
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    How UK farmland sizes up


    With a large area of farmland and high domestic demand, the UK has the means post-Brexit to boost production and reduce dependency on imports

    Download the full PDF report


    With more than 65 million people, the UK has one of the largest and most densely concentrated populations in Europe. Of the 11 countries analysed here, it has the third largest area of agricultural land, equating to 71% of total land mass. This is the highest of this group of countries, and well above the average of around 55%.

    UK agriculture benefits from strong domestic demand and a large volume of farmland. However, the sector has comparatively lower production. The UK’s aggregate output volume per acre of agricultural land ranks as third quartile (due to a high portion of marginal grazing ground) in comparison with the other countries, despite second-quartile ranking for the unit value of output.



    The UK also has the lowest per capita of production and is the most reliant on imports, with 70 to 75% of the food supply serviced by domestic output. For most countries, production exceeds domestic demand needs.

    Increasing efficiency to make post-Brexit margins competitive will be key to closing the productivity gap with top-quartile countries. The UK’s reliance on imports, coupled with below average food...