1. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 23, 2019 at 8:12 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    NFU Cymru has arranged two events for tenant farmers to consider Welsh Government Agricultural Tenancy Reform proposals.

    The events will consider Welsh Government proposals on a number of specific changes to tenancy law – both the 1986 Agricultural Holdings Act and the 1995 Agricultural Tenancies Act.

    The proposed changes are aimed at:

    • Reforming and modernising agricultural tenancy regulations to provide an enabling environment for sustainable productivity improvements and investment;
    • Facilitating structural change and supporting new entrants and the next generation; and
    • Enabling tenant farmers to access new agricultural and land management schemes.

    NFU Cymru president, John Davies said: “A thriving tenanted sector is vital for a productive, profitable and progressive farming industry in Wales.

    “Whilst a range of routes into farming exist, access to land through Farm Business Tenancy (FBT) remains a key route for many new entrants and young farmers as well as many expanding farm businesses.

    “With around a third of agricultural land in Wales rented through formal and informal agreements, this is a critical time to consider how tenancy reform proposals will enable farmers who do not own the land that they farm to access future agricultural and land management schemes post-Brexit.

    NFU Cymru has long been clear...​
  2. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS
    May 23, 2019 at 7:02 AM

    Written by John Swire

    In a move to strengthen its communications function, Red Tractor has appointed Rebecca Miller into the newly formed role of Head of Communications.

    Ms Miller joins Red Tractor from Heineken UK, the UK’s largest cider, beer and pub company, where she was Head of Media and Sustainability and responsible for driving the communications response to the UK-wide shortage of CO2 during the hottest summer on record. She also led on Heineken UK’s Brewing a Better World stakeholder and sustainability strategy.

    A former staffer to Boris Johnson, Ms Miller has also managed the communications for product and suppliers for retail giant Tesco. Rebecca played a key role in rebuilding trust in the business, working with the Executive Team during the turnaround, during four of the most challenging years in the supermarket’s history.

    Additionally, she developed a ‘new ways of working’ model to improve the productivity of the communications function, so that it focused on the commercial priorities of the business.

    Ms Miller has also led on crisis communications, media engagement and a range of high impact campaigns for the retailer, including food quality and embedding the Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice across the business and with stakeholders and supplier partners.

    Jim Moseley, Red Tractor CEO, said: “Rebecca represents an exciting step forward for Red Tractor....
  3. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 23, 2019 at 5:12 AM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    There are “great opportunities” for the dairy sector post-Brexit but crippling uncertainty surrounding Brexit is holding the industry back – particularly in regard to investment – NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes warned.

    Speaking ahead of the Eucolait dairy conference today (May 23) in Edinburgh, Oakes said that the UK Government should work to help the industry increase its processing capacity so that it can make the most of the domestic market.

    “The EU is the largest international trading partner for the UK dairy sector,” he said.

    Between 2013 and 2017 more than 90% of UK dairy exports were sent to the EU, highlighting the significance of our future relationship.

    “Dairy farming, like all businesses, requires long-term planning. But after months of negotiation, we still haven’t got any certainty about our future which is hugely damaging. This means the investment is being put on hold and essential jobs are not being filled.

    “We’re still in the dark about what trading environment we will be operating under and whether we will have access to a sufficient workforce to carry out essential roles on our dairy farms, or what the UK’s future domestic agricultural policy will look like.”

    Eucolait, the European Association of Dairy Trade, represents the interests of European exporters, importers and wholesalers of dairy products....
  4. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A Moray vet with experience in agricultural animals has been elected as the British Veterinary Association’s new Scottish branch president.

    Kathleen Robertson was elected to lead the BVA’s 2,200 Scottish members at the branch AGM held at Edinburgh’s Saughton House on Tuesday (May 21).

    Robertson is a University of Glasgow graduate with experience in farm animal, equine and small animal practice, anaesthesia and more recently veterinary business and politics.

    She has also held a diverse range of positions spanning clinical practice, teaching, inspection and consultancy work.

    Robertson currently sits on the Scottish Antimicrobial Stewardship Group, the Livestock Health Scotland Board and the Veterinary Delivery Landscape project and is an honorary secretary of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons.

    Since 2012, she has been working as a locum in Morayshire and Inverness and as Secretary for Vet Trust, a Scottish CPD charity.

    In 2016, Robertson was awarded the Bleby Cup in recognition of her outstanding contribution to BVA Council.

    Robertson said she looking forward to “championing the tremendous work of the BVA” throughout her term in office.

    “It is an honour to be elected as president of BVA Scottish Branch.

    “I believe my varied clinical and non-clinical experience and previous veterinary representative roles will enable me to represent...
  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Written by Jim Breen

    Massey Ferguson’s IDEAL combine harvester has won the Platinum A-Design Award (in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries Design Award category). It will be presented at a ceremony in Como, Italy, next month (June 28).

    The A-Design Award has been described as “one of the biggest international design competitions globally”. There are 98 categories, such as: vehicle design; architecture; graphics and visual communication; digital and electronic devices design; and website and web design.


    Of course, awards such as this are laudable. However, the real test for the IDEAL is how it will sell and perform in the field. The market in Ireland for new combines is relatively small; let’s take a quick look at the UK, where larger numbers of machines are sold each year.

    It’s evident that AGCO (encompassing Massey Ferguson, Fendt and other brands) has considerable ground to make up.

    The UK-based AEA (Agricultural Engineers Association) recently released figures relating to sales for the 2017 season; the data covers registrations from September 2016 until August 2017.

    Why, you might ask, are we delving into brand-by-brand figures for 2017 (rather than 2018)? Official bodies are not permitted to release such data due to EU...
  6. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    Written by Jim Breen

    Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are already here, but can the same technology be applied to a 7t machine that clears snow from an airstrip?

    To answer this rather odd question, Valtra and Nokian Tyres partnered up with three other Finnish companies in March for a joint ‘proof-of-concept’ project at the EU’s northern-most airport.

    Two Valtra T254 Versu tractors, equipped with Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI tyres and each pulling a 4.5m-wide sweeper/blower, autonomously cleared the runway at Ivalo airport in Finnish Lapland.

    Winters in Finland can be long; some parts of the country are covered in snow for up to 200 days per year.

    “As an airport operator we need to create summer conditions on Finnish runways, even if it’s the middle of the winter. To meet this challenge we are constantly searching for new solutions that support our world-class snow-how,” explained Henri Hansson, technical director of Finavia – the organisation responsible for maintaining the majority of Finnish airports.


    This is how the idea for project ‘Runway Snowbot’ came into being. The project involves Valtra, Nokian Tyres, airport sweeper/blower manufacturer Vammas (Fortbrand) and others....
  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Written by Jim Breen

    The inauguration of new SDF (Same Deutz-Fahr) production lines in Turkey took place this month. The renewed plant (in Bandirma) is now claimed to have a production capacity of 15,000 tractors per year.

    According to SDF, the renovated and upgraded facility “reinforces the role of the Turkish factory as a production hub serving domestic, European and worldwide markets”.

    An investment of €10 million has reportedly been made in the plant (pictured below) over a period of 18 months.


    A new production building (spanning an area of 10,000m²) has been added to the existing facility. This, says the company, results in a total covered area of over 27,000m².

    An additional “modern” paint shop has also been completed. It will allow a “doubling of production capacity”.

    Moreover, a new transmission assembly line and test bench will allow SDF to “localise the production of core components”.

    New SDF Academy

    The development works also encompass a new spare parts warehouse and a so-called SDF Academy – to train not only Turkish dealers and customers but also those from other markets in that geographical region.

    “In the last part of 2018 the Turkish economy started to face...
  8. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 2:12 PM

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has announced it will carry out a 12-week consultation into General Licences later this year.

    A General Licence is a type of species licence that allows users to control wild birds or destroy their nests, for reasons such as preventing serious damage to crops, protecting public health, and guarding air safety when flocks of birds are liable to get in flight paths.

    The issue recently caused controversy south of the border after Natural England revoked three general licences covering 16 species of birds with just 36 hours’ notice. The decision was met with uproar from a range of rural groups.

    Following the fiasco, Defra secretary Michael Gove announced he would take control of the issue.

    Robbie Kernahan, SNH’s head of National Operations, said: “We want to ensure that General Licences in Scotland are clear, proportionate and fit-for-purpose.

    In light of the complicated situation in England with General Licences right now, we have decided to bring forward our consultation which had been scheduled for 2020.

    “Our General Licences cover relatively common situations – such as preventing agricultural damage and protecting public health and safety – when there’s unlikely to be any conservation impact on a species.

    “They avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Written by Jim Breen

    Sales of new agricultural tractors in the US were up last month (compared to April 2018) in almost every category. That’s according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in North America.

    “Although the overall numbers continue to be strong, it’s a mixed bag when you get into specific categories,” explained Curt Blades, AEM’s senior vice president of agricultural services.


    “The under-40hp tractor category continues to be solid and is a reflection of the overall economy.

    However, farmers and ranchers across the country continue to face long-term uncertainty about re-investments in their operations with lowering commodity prices. There are also continuing concerns over trade and tariffs.

    Total 2WD tractor sales grew by 11.8% last month, compared with April 2018. More specifically, under-40hp tractor sales grew by 16.6%. 100hp+ tractor sales grew by 6.6%. However, 40-100hp tractor sales declined by 1.8%.

    4WD tractor sales grew by 32.2% last month, compared with April 2018. Bear in mind that, in the US (in this context), the term ‘4WD tractor’ typically refers to big,...
  10. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    May 22, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Written by Agriland Team

    A farmer in the US has suffered a traumatic accident recently when he stepped on the opening of a grain auger and found his leg becoming trapped and pulled inside.

    63-year-old Nebraskan man Kurt Kaser was unloading corn on Friday, April 26, when the incident occurred, according to an article published by ABC News.

    The publication outlined that the farmer had removed part of the safety screen covering the hopper to make it fit under a grain bin.

    Speaking to ABC News, Kaser explained: “I’m kind of disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of fixing that thing. But that’s why they call it accidents I guess.

    I stepped right in the damn thing. It grabbed a hold of me. I can remember seeing it start and I go, ‘this ain’t good’.

    Kaser said he could not free his leg, he was alone and he could not find his mobile phone.

    He explained that the auger – which looks like a giant drill bit – kept pulling on his leg, until he could see bone protruding through the lower portion of his leg.

    I felt it try to grab me. I about gave up and said ‘whatever happens, happens. If it sucks me in all the way, it’s over with’.

    Continuing, he explained: “But then, all at once, I thought of my pocket knife.”...