Written by Tom Allen-Stevens
Farmers are in danger of causing great harm through overuse of certain technologies warns Defra’s chief scientist, who calls for a complete change in mindset. By Tom Allen-Stevens Farming’s over-dependence on neonicotinoid seed dressings contributed to the decision to remove them from use, Defra’s chief scientist has said. Professor Ian Boyd’s keynote address at the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum on Weds 5 Dec called for science to encourage a “different mindset” in farming and to make the industry ten times more efficient. Professor Ian Boyd “Currently researchers seek change in small increments. I think we need to transform our farming system,” he told delegates from across farming and agrifood research. “The current system of agriculture is not capable of continuous modification to produce what is needed – it is four times less resource-efficient than most of the other sectors of the economy, and 40 times less resource-efficient than the business and service sector.” He said it isn’t realistic to believe the UK can produce all its own food, pointing out that most farming produce, especially in meat and cereals, is importable. “We need to solve the problem of resource consumption – we can’t afford to use 70% of our…
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Created by Farm Business RSS
- Dec 12, 2018 at 5:22 PM
Written by JohnSwire
While the UK’s political establishment seems to be collapsing all around us, Farm Business have had good reason to celebrate recently in Parliament.
In this latest edition of Farm Business Digital, we reveal all the winners from an excellent night in the House of Commons for the 2018 Food and Farming Industry Awards (see pages 8 and 9). We had a large number of high quality entries this year and the winners and finalists are doing their industry proud – and showcasing to others just what is achievable.
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The issue also tries to make sense of the latest Brexit twists and turns. While nobody can predict the future with any certainty, planning for a ‘no deal’ is being stepped up in the wake of the events of recent days – on page 4, we look at what a no deal might mean and ask if the farming industry is ready for such an outcome.
On page 2, Richard Wright looks at the progress the farming industry is making in reducing and refining antibiotic use, while on page 6, we put the spotlight on a three-year trial into robotics on farms – featuring Tom, Dick and Harry – being run by Waitrose.
Our politics might be going seriously awry at the moment… but there is plenty to celebrate among our farms and food businesses.
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Created by Farm Business RSS
- Dec 12, 2018 at 4:52 PM
Written by JohnSwire
Sheep farmers are being offered the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend on goods from an agricultural merchant of their choice, simply for offering feedback on their flock lameness management practices.
The sheep health and production group at Harper Adams University is seeking opinions on the use of vaccination against footrot in sheep flocks – whether farmers vaccinate or not.
All responses are confidential and the survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Farmers completing the survey by the closing date of 28thFebruary 2019 will be entered into a prize draw for the £100 voucher.
The questionnaire is available to complete online: https://harper-adams.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/flock_lameness_management
Paper copies can also be obtained from Caroline Best at Harper Adams. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Created by Agrovista News
- Dec 12, 2018 at 4:38 PM
Lower yields tempered by better prices in 2018, but more challenges to come
Winter wheat yields this year are down by 10%, but the upside is better commodity prices, says Agrovista MD Chris Clayton, noting that although prices have slid a little since their peak, they should remain good for the coming season. The 2018 growing year had not been easy; a wet winter spilled over into a late spring, in which the soils quickly went from too wet to hard and dry, leading to stressed crops. While many winter crops caught up despite looking backward in March, spring-drilled crops did not have time to develop their root systems to scavenge for water and nutrients before soils dried, resulting in a lower commercial yields for many growers.
Nevertheless, combinable crops matured a little earlier than usual during the long, warm summer, and the weather remained fair over harvest. Mr Clayton says: âWe all gave a sigh of relief at the end of August when the cereals harvest was completed as it was an early, easy harvest, and there were low drying costs.â As the dry and warm weather continued, many growers hoping to improve establishment and yield potential brought their wheat drilling forward to the last week in August or very early September to take advantage of...Views: 20Continue reading»
Created by Agriland RSS
- Dec 12, 2018 at 4:12 PM
Written by Rachel Martin
The Ulster Farmers’ Union says Northern Ireland’s farming industry has achieved a “significant milestone” in its BVD eradication efforts.
it comes as around 900 farmers have received confirmation their herd is at ‘low risk’ for the disease.
UFU deputy president, David Brown said, “This is a great achievement. All these farmers are to be commended for the work they are doing to see this costly disease eliminated.”
Achieving low-risk status
Herds are deemed low risk for Bovine viral diarrhoea when all cattle in the herd over five weeks of age have a BVD negative status, the herd has been in the eradication programme for more than three years, and no BVD positive animals have been identified within the head in the last 12 months.
Achieving lower risk status has many benefits for a farm business.
“Being BVD free helps to lower the cost of production, increase feed conversion, decrease the need for antimicrobials, and improve animal health and welfare. All wins for any farm business,” said Brown.
There has been a reduction in BVD levels in recent months. However, Brown said there is still work to be done if Northern Ireland is to be BVD free.
The single most crucial action farmers can take to eradicate this disease is to promptly identify and remove BVD positive animals from their herds.
“These...Views: 17Continue reading»
Premium crops appoint a second company agronomist
Premium Crops is pleased to announce the appointment of Lorna Evans as Company Agronomist to work alongside their current Agronomist, Hannah Foxall. âWe are very pleased to welcome Lorna to the Premium Crops teamâ, says Andrew Probert, Premium Crops Managing Director, âThis new role is another example of the significant investment that Premium Crops are making into the development of Specialist Crops in the UK as we strive to enhance the yields and returns for all of our contract growersâ A graduate of the Royal Agricultural university at Cirencester, where she completed her BSc in Crop Production, Lorna recently completed her MSc in Sustainable Crop Production at Warwick University. Lorna will be based at the companyâs office in Hambledon, Hampshire. In addition to supporting High Erucic Acid Oilseed Rape (HEAR) and Linseed growers with agronomic advice and field visits, Lorna will be focusing on the introduction of new innovations to the Premium Crops portfolio, including the use of new technology in precision farming.
You can read this update from Premium Crops on TFF's AGVendor...
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High Omega-3 Linseed flour product launches in the UK
British consumers will soon be able to benefit from the enriched Omega-3 products that have long been available to consumers in France, with the launch of www.LoveLinseed.co.uk. LoveLinseed is a website dedicated to the promotion and sale of LinetteÂ®, a blend of wheat flour and specially prepared linseed flour. With its enhanced Omega-3 content LinetteÂ® can be used in recipes at home to replace or supplement wheat flour in cakes, bread, biscuits, desserts and host of other uses. For the last two years, around 15% of the entire UK Linseed Crop has been sown with the Ultra High Omega-3 linseed variety, VT50 (also known as NuLin50). Grown on buy-back contracts with Premium Crops, it is this variety that produces the exceptionally high Omega-3 levels that are so valued by, Valorex, the French animal feed processors and manufacturers of the LinetteÂ® range of products. (see: http://www.valorex.com/Metier/2/Alimentation-humaine) Valorex are original members of the Bleu-Blanc-Coeur (BBC) Association (ref: www.bleu-blanc-coeur.org ), an organisation founded on the principle that âquality...Views: 17Continue reading»
Created by Kubota News
- Dec 12, 2018 at 2:32 PM
Demo a M7172
Our new @KubotaUK M7172 demonstrator is arriving this week at Lister Machinery, Ashford, Kent - To book your demo of this fantastic tractor give us a call on 01233 619290
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Written by Rachel Martin
The total British potato harvest is down 13% on the five-year average of 5.6 million tonnes, according to the annual Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimate.
It makes 2018 the fourth smallest harvest since 1960.
The relatively low production figure (4.9 million tonnes) is a result of an estimated 4.4% drop in planted area and a 12% drop in average yield.
The crop was also heavily impacted by a combination of late planting and the prolonged hot and dry weather that stalled tuber growth in June and July.
The one area of Great Britain that avoided the effects of the summer heatwave was Scotland. Potatoes grown north of the border enjoyed a 3% increase in yield against last year to 49.2t/ha.
But the total production of potatoes in Scotland was still down, due to a decrease of 1,600ha in planted area.
Average yields in England were 40.1t/ha – a 20% decrease from the 49.9t/ha seen last season.
Sector strategy director at AHDB Potatoes Dr. Rob Clayton explained that the average yield decrease is the result of large variations from field to field.
“Growers were battling a shortage of water this year, as you can see on the AHDB weather hub, the combined June and July period was one of the driest on record,” he said.
“Fields that were irrigated will have enjoyed a reasonable crop,...Views: 19Continue reading»
Written by Agriland Team
Farmers have been warned to be vigilant after a bad dog attack left nine sheep dead with a further three needing to be put down due to injuries earlier this week.
Issuing the warning, Northern Ireland based veterinary practice Orchard Veterinary Centre Armagh explained through social media the incident that had occurred near the village of Keady in Co. Armagh.
“We were called today to the Keady area for a particularly bad case of sheep worrying.
Nine sheep were killed yesterday [Monday] by a group of two-three large dogs and I had to euthanize three more because of severe bite injuries; another 10 in lamb ewes were chased badly too and can often end up aborting their lambs in these cases.
“These poor defenceless creatures stood no chance against them.
“Farmers please be vigilant to avoid more loss of life. This is why dogs cannot be allowed to roam as this is an example of the real damage they can do,” the practice warned.
Warning: Potentially distressing imagery below.
The statement released by the veterinary centre was accompanied by photos, one of which is below.
Image source: Orchard Veterinary Centre Armagh
In Northern Ireland, local...Views: 25Continue reading»
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