1. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 20, 2019 at 8:02 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Two new appointments have been made to Wales’ Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group as it prepares to ramp up operations.

    Sarah Carr and Les Eckford will join the group, increasing the number of members from seven to eight, after a recruitment drive earlier this year.

    Both have extensive experience in the sector and impressed the interview panel with their knowledge of operational and strategic work within the areas of animal health and welfare in Wales.

    The decision to appoint two members was made as increasing the size of the group will help the group cover a wider number of priorities and enable them to dedicate more time to existing priorities.

    The aim of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group is to ensure healthy livestock are kept to high standards of welfare and to lower the risk of animal diseases spreading.

    The group plans to do this through contingency plans, business continuity plans and speedy responses to welfare incidences.

    It also hopes to contribute towards safer food and improved public health – minimising the risk to people from diseases (such as salmonella) to help reduce the demand on health services.

    Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “I’m pleased to see Sarah Carr and Les Eckford join the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group and look forward to seeing...
  2. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 20, 2019 at 5:32 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Scottish climate change researchers are exploring ways that farmers could reduce emissions from nitrogen fertiliser use.

    Led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and funded by ClimateXChange, the project forms part of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan.

    The plan specifically highlights nitrogen fertiliser as a potential area of improvement and suggests this could be achieved through a combination of improved understanding, efficient application and improved soil condition.

    The new research will be led by Dr. Sarah Buckingham and will include input from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

    It will review and evaluate various input-output models to understand how a nitrogen-budgeting approach might support the delivery of emissions reductions in practice.

    Announcing the research, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “We want farmers to move towards a more profitable, low carbon future, which adapts to the changing environment and contributes to our climate change ambitions while securing business viability for future generations.

    “That is why I am establishing research into the feasibility of reducing Scotland’s emissions from nitrogen fertiliser.

    “Nitrogen is a key component for our crops and ensuring that they have access to the nutrients they need is crucial to the sustainability of our food production.

    When applied...​
  3. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Apr 20, 2019 at 5:32 AM

    Country diary: grafting to make new cider-apple trees

    Written by Sara Hudston

    Marshwood Vale, Dorset: These saplings will help improve the landscape near the line of pylons that stalk the area

    We are in a barn, harnessing the strength of spring to make new apple trees. Smooth, supple twigs – scions – lie before us in labelled bundles. Hairy bunches of rootstock wait in a barrow, shrouded in plastic to stop them drying out.

    It’s perilous preparing scions for grafting. You cut them slantwise, pulling the knife upwards through the wood in a single, fast jerk. It requires a ferociously sharp blade, one capable of slicing your thumb off if you get it wrong. The aim is to expose a long, flat oval of pale primrose-green ringed with white.

    Related: How to make cider

    Continue reading...

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  4. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 6:32 PM

    Written by John Swire

    The strategic importance and economic value of the British food and farming industry must not be overlooked in the Brexit discussions to come, the NFU has said today after it published new Defra figures as part of its State of the Farming Economy report.

    The data has shown that the contribution of the agri-food sector to the national economy increased from £113 billion to nearly £122 billion in 2017, and that UK food and drink exports increased by 2.5% to £22.6 billion in 2018.

    There are also even more people now employed in the UK agri-food sector, with the number surpassing 4 million.

    NFU President Minette Batters said: “Defra’s latest figures reinforce the importance of the British food and farming industry both nationally and globally, and its value must not be forgotten as we head back into Brexit discussions.

    “Farming is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink, which provides the nation and wider world with safe, traceable and affordable food produced to world-leading animal welfare, environmental and food safety standards.

    “Given farming’s value to the UK economy and the huge number of people it employs, we must ensure that food and farming in Britain is at the forefront of Brexit negotiations when the House of Commons returns and talks begin again in earnest.”

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  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 2:02 PM

    Written by Agriland Team

    The first fortnight in May will see the start of a marketing marathon for Wales’ red meat levy board in promoting Welsh Lamb and Beef across three continents.

    The Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) marketing team will be flying the flag for Welsh red meat at trade events in Toronto, Milan and Hong Kong – three diverse markets that offer opportunities for the red meat sector in Wales.

    It kicks off with SIAL Canada. Held in Toronto from April 30 – May 2, 2019, SIAL is a major international tradeshow which attracts more than 1,000 national and international exhibitors and hosts over 15,000 buyers.

    North America

    Canada has been an important target market for HCC from 2010 and the demand for Welsh Lamb and Beef has grown ever since.

    At the event, HCC will share a joint stand with its counterparts from Scotland and England. The marketing effort will be funded by the £2 million fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by the three GB meat levy bodies – AHDB, HCC and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)....
  6. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Written by Agriland Team

    As the calving season draws to a close, now is a time for you to reflect on the months gone by and reward yourself with some well needed time off.

    Although this spring for most farmers will go down in history as one of the best on record, a lot of farmers over the last few months were put to the test physically due to the major shortage in farm labour.

    It is in these weeks between the end of calving and the start of the breeding season that offers you the opportunity to take some time away from the farm and prepare yourself for another very busy period on the farm.

    Looking after yourself

    It is not a crime to take some time off every once in a while. Some time off allows you to catch up on some well needed rest and means that you will enter into the next stage of the season with more energy to complete the task at hand.

    Time off is not only good for your physical health, but it is important for your mental health too. Time away from the farm will help to clear your head, which will hopefully enable you to make better on-farm decisions.

    Options to consider:

    • Get a relief milker in for a few evenings during the week or for the weekend;
    • Go away for a weekend even if it’s just for one night;
    • Take an evening off to do something you enjoy;
    • Go somewhere for the day with your family;
    • Visit a friend or some relatives for a chat.

    Some farmers forget that they need to look after...
  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Written by Agriland Team

    Danone’s first quarter results show a slight growth in sales despite decreased infant milk formula sales in China and the consumer boycott by Morocco last year.

    On Wednesday, April 17, Danone announced that its first quarter sales were up by 0.8% to €6.14 billion from €6.09 billion in the first quarter last year.

    Emmanuel Faber, chairman and chief executive officer of Danone, fobbed off the poor results by saying: “The first quarter showed a start of the year in line with expectations and further progress in our transformation journey.

    “This performance has coincided with continued action to deliver sustainable profitable value growth – including the sale of Earthbound Farm – alongside the roll-out of value-added innovations across businesses and geographies to make our portfolio more local, more appealing to younger generations, and better suited to fast-changing consumer trends”.

    Danone’s organic salad business, Earthbound Farm, was sold last week to Taylor Farms which it said was “in line with its portfolio management and capital allocation optimisation strategy”.

    Essential Dairy Plant-based (EDP)

    Their EDP reported a sale increase of 0.2% compared to the first quarter last year, which included a -3.8% decrease in volume and +4.0% rise in value.

    Latin America showed the strongest sales growth. However, Morocco sales continued to be impacted by the consumer boycott, decreasing in line with quarter four in 2018....
  8. DSV News
    Created by DSV News
    Apr 19, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Hybrid oilseed rape originally made its mark in UK arable production through delivery of significantly improved vigour over conventional varieties, greater establishment reliability and higher yields.

    Although hybrid seed was often perceived as more expensive than that for conventional varieties and, certainly, more than farm-saved seed, when the added security and better production offered was factored in, the cost-benefits were significant with market share rising to nearly 65% a few years ago.

    Around mainland Europe, up to 90% of all oilseed rape grown is hybrid and in countries with extreme winters and highly challenging growing conditions, hybrids are the only type of oilseed rape that will survive and thrive.

    Over the years, such countries have been the testing ground for DSV varieties and with our own climate now producing highly variable production years, it has proved to be a wise decision. The truth is in a good year, a modern conventional variety will produce a similar yield to a hybrid, but in a testing year they will fall well short.

    It’s equally true that, such ‘good’ years are becoming increasingly far apart and oilseed rape growers now have the additional challenge of a massively reduced agronomic arsenal to fall back on if things go wrong.

    One thing is for sure, the...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A 150ac mixed habitat in the Cairngorms National Park, has been declared one of this year’s NEWBIE UK award winners.

    The award, which recognises the best New Entrant Farm Business of the Year, will be presented at this year’s Royal Highland Show.

    NEWBIE project

    The European Commission-funded NEWBIE project offers the award to new entrants in eight European countries including the UK, as part of a suite of opportunities aiming to help new farmers, crofters and small-holders network and develop successful businesses.

    Lynbreck Croft managers Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer will receive €500 towards the cost of training or an international visit, as well as an award plaque, farm video, and the opportunity to participate in a European new entrant conference with other award winners.

    They said: “We are really delighted to have been given the Newbie award.

    We have worked so hard over the last few years to build the foundations of our new croft business which we see as being rooted in nature and rooted in our community.

    The Horned Beef Company in the Lake District, and the Scottish Goat Meat Company in Banffshire, were also recognized as exemplary innovative new entrants.

    All the shortlisted candidates demonstrated a unique ability to overcome barriers in the early phases of their farming career.

  10. Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Created by Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Apr 19, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    NFU Mutual Special: The Present Tree

    Written by

    Catherine Cunningham set herself the challenge of creating an online business from the family farm in County Antrim with a small initial investment. 5 years later, The Present Tree sells thousands of tree gifts every year, and are planning further expansion.

    Will Evans is in Northern Ireland to discover the secrets behind Catherine's success, and explore the benefits and challenges of diversifying without potential customers coming onto the farm.

    Continue reading more on Rock and Roll Farming...