1. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 3, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The National Sheep Association (NSA) is calling on policymakers to review the impact of renewable energy grants, saying the scheme is adding pressure to farmers who are already short of feed.

    NSA has long had concerns over the pressure anaerobic digestion plants and large-scale biomass burners place on the sheep sector – and says the recent extreme weather has exacerbated the situation.

    Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, said: “Forage stocks were completely used up during the harsh winter we experienced, but instead of being able to rebuild stores, the dry weather means sheep farmers are already using winter feeds to sustain flocks due to a shortage of grass.


    The risk of feed and bedding shortages is fast approaching and costs are rocketing, yet potential feedstock, cereals, maize and grass, as well as straw for biomass, is dedicated to energy production.

    “That is why NSA is calling for a rethink around incentives for AD plants and large-scale biomass burners.

    ‘Dual funding’


    “We have already raised serious concerns over crops for energy being eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) as well as Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and Feed in Tariffs (FiTs), as this is a clear example of dual-funding and distorts the market to the disadvantage of livestock farmers.


    Dual-funding of land...​
  2. AHDB Podcast RSS
    Created by AHDB Podcast RSS
    Aug 3, 2018
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    26: Livestock in arable rotations

    Written by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

    In this episode, join AHDB's Jason Pole, Teresa Meadows and Liz Genever, as well as West Essex farmer Ian Metson, as they discuss the ins and outs of introducing livestock into arable rotations.

    For more information, visit cereals.ahdb.org.uk/livestock

    Soundtrack files were created by: Serylis, Rutgermuller, Barrelcarb, dvideoguy, growingup_fawn and sangtao via Freesound.

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Cereals and Oilseeds Website...
  3. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 3, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimates that the total area in Great Britain planted with potatoes is 119,000ha; down 3% on the previous year.

    This would represent the third-lowest planted area on record. The news comes in a challenging season for potato growers, with an agricultural drought likely to affect yields.

    A yield reduction of 10% on the five-year average added to the predicted 3% fall in planted area would see a total crop of 5.1 million tonnes – down 16% on last year.

    However, if the agricultural drought persists, then yields could be lower still.

    The ultimate size of the potato crop, and how the market firms in response, will not be known until harvest. At five-year average yields, this would equate to a total potato harvest of 5.7 million tonnes.
    ‘A vital crop’


    However, AHDB’s sector strategy director for potatoes, Dr. Rob Clayton said: “Potatoes are a vital crop for families, providing 14% of the vitamin C consumed in Britain as a staple that some of our favourite meals are based on.

    “This has been a tough and stressful season for growers, we do not underestimate that. However, we welcome news that supply chains are working closer than ever before, and that continual improvements are leading to reduced food waste at all points from the grower to the consumer.”

    The...
  4. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 3, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    Ulster Farmers’ Union dairy committee chairman, William Irvine, has said farmers are “rightly concerned” about the growing gap in base milk prices.

    “The fodder issue is on everyone’s mind. We are facing a potentially costly winter with more bought in feed, and need a strong cash flow now to prepare for that. The price disparity between local processors simply cannot be justified,” he said.

    2.5p/L gap


    The committee chairman and Co. Armagh dairy farmer says farmers receiving a milk price 2.5p/L less than what others are being paid are “automatically at a disadvantage” at what is already a difficult time for the industry.

    “Put simply, many farmers feel short-changed,” he added. “What they see is one processor paying what the market is capable of delivering, while at the other end of the scale, others are seemingly dragging their heels.


    The reason for this disparity needs to be explained by these businesses, whose suppliers are becoming more and more disillusioned.

    The UFU said it is urging all dairy processors in Northern Ireland to “pay what the market is returning”.

    “Only then will local dairy farmers have a chance of tackling what could be a challenging autumn and winter,” said Irvine.

    How the prices stack up


    The board of the Northern Ireland’s milk processor, Dale Farm, agreed...
  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 3, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    Global chemistry firm BASF has closed the acquisition of a range of businesses and assets from rival Bayer.

    The transaction is said to “complement” BASF’s own crop protection, biotech and digital activities and also marks its entry into seeds, non-selective herbicides and nematicide seed treatments.

    As a result of the deal, around 4,500 Bayer employees will join BASF’s Agricultural Solutions team.

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    Dr. Martin Brudermuller, chief technology officer of BASF SE, said: “This strategic move adds excellent assets to our strong agricultural solutions portfolio and enhances our innovation potential. Overall, it ensures an even more comprehensive and attractive offering to our customers.

    Board member Saori Dubourg added: “This acquisition transforms BASF in agriculture. It strengthens our market position in agricultural solutions and creates new opportunities for growth.

    “We are looking forward to our joint journey and warmly welcome the new colleagues to BASF.”

    BASF signed agreements in October 2017 and April 2018 to acquire the businesses and assets Bayer offered to divest in the context of its acquisition of Monsanto, for an all-cash purchase price of €7.6...
  6. AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Created by AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Aug 2, 2018
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    Potato plantings down three per cent amid extreme weather conditions

    Written by Jimmy.Phillips@ahdb.org.uk

    The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimates that the total area in Great Britain planted with potatoes is 119,000 hectares(ha), a fall of three per cent on the previous year.

    This would represent the third-lowest planted area on record. The news comes in a challenging season for potato growers, with an agricultural drought likely to affect yields.

    AHDB’s Sector Strategy Director for Potatoes, Dr Rob Clayton, believes that a resilient industry will maintain the supply of our British-grown crop.

    Release Date:
    Thu, 08/02/2018

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Potatoes Website...
  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 2, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The European Commission has said it will offer a number of measures, including increased flexibility, to help farmers grappling with the difficulties of extreme droughts.

    Farmers will be able to receive their direct and rural development payments in advance and will be granted more flexibility to use land that would normally not be used for production, in order to feed their animals.

    The ongoing and prolonged drought situation in several EU countries is having a significant impact on the production of arable crops, as well as animal feed which could also have an impact on animal welfare.

    Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said: “I am very concerned about these prolonged climatic developments. I have been in contact with a number of ministers from affected countries to discuss the situation and get up-to-date assessments of its impact.


    The Commission, as always, is ready to support farmers affected by drought using a number of instruments, including higher advance payments, derogations from greening requirements and state aid.

    “The Common Agricultural Policy already provides a safety net for farmers who have to deal with unpredictable events. I am encouraging all Member States to look into all possible actions and measures provided for in our legislation.”

    Extra support


    Two specific...
  8. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 2, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) board of management has ruled that the federation will cancel its 2019 annual convention and no longer hold the event in future.

    In a statement released today, the organisation said that the successes and celebrations inside the event venue are being “overshadowed” by incidents taking place outside of the organised official activities.

    This year the event made national headlines after some members were filmed engaging in antisocial behaviour in Blackpool.

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    With around 6,000 attendees, the convention is one of the most popular events on the Young Farmers’ calendar.

    “After 50 years of hosting the event, the board believes it is time to refresh its offer to members and to bring its programme of activities more in line with its charitable aims to meet the needs of rural young people,” the statement read.

    The Annual Convention was created to showcase the achievements of members, hold national competition finals and to host its Annual General Meeting.

    The decision was made following feedback from NFYFC’s Council, County Federations and staff.

    “While NFYFC...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 2, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    Scottish stakeholders met in Edinburgh on Wednesday (August 1) identifying solutions to the feed and fodder shortfalls to be faced by farmers and crofters in the country this winter.

    In an exceptional year, months of cold, wet weather last winter and spring have been followed by the hottest and driest spell for a generation.

    In the meeting, which was coordinated by National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland, industry leaders heard how grass growth for cattle and sheep has ground to a halt.

    Many livestock farmers are already feeding hay and silage that was intended for the coming winter and supplies of all feed and bedding are challenging to secure.

    For cereal growers, early indications are that the winter barley harvest has been, at best, average.

    Spring barley, sown during a cold, wet spring, will see its harvest start in earnest in the coming weeks – as Scotland’s most important arable crop, its success is crucial for the industry.

    Support is there


    Speaking afterwards, NFUS vice president Martin Kennedy said: “Exceptionally volatile weather over the past 12 months has made this a costly and difficult time for all farmers and crofters. That is having an impact that no one could have predicted.

    “It was hugely worthwhile pulling in key stakeholders as we all work to identify short-term solutions that may address the serious...
  10. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 2, 2018
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru’s Rural Affairs Board has voiced concerns around proposals to replace the Common Agricultural Policy in Wales after Brexit.

    The proposals, contained within the Welsh Government’s ‘Brexit and Our Land’ consultation published last month, set out how a policy centred around two large flexible schemes of economic resilience and public goods will replace the Basic Payment Scheme which will be phased out by 2025.

    The board, which met earlier this week, raised many questions around how the proposed public goods scheme will operate in practice.

    What counts as a ‘public goods tree?’


    Rural Affairs Board chairman Hedd Pugh said: “Discussions at the board meeting focussed on the public goods scheme.


    One specific area of concern relates to how farmers in Wales, who have a long track record of delivering environmental action and who are already making a significant contribution to public goods delivery, will be rewarded in practice.

    “Farmers were very concerned that we could end up with the perverse situation where two trees located on a particular farm – one planted prior to the scheme, another planted as part of the new public goods scheme – which are both performing equally, in terms of environmental outcomes such as carbon sequestration, habitat provision and flood alleviation...