1. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 1, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    A Northern Ireland farm lobby group has said that a number of “intolerable” issues and “lack of independent advice” have caused it to walk out of stakeholder talks on ammonia.

    A spokesman for Farmers For Action (FFA) said it “cannot continue” to be part of the Ammonia Stakeholder Forum until several issues are “corrected”.

    The group said it had sent a letter Northern Ireland Environment Agency chief executive David Small and heads of other relevant departments.

    The letter questioned the legitimacy of the forum, querying why certain groups had not been included.

    It said: “The report states ideas would be proffered on the basis of rationale and discussion. This was not the case as there were no trained facilitators at each table.

    Ideas recorded were based on the force of argument rather than reasoned logic. The ideas recorded were not based on validated scientific evidence but reflected the political opinion of the most vocal lobby groups.

    The group also questioned the independence of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) which had been instructed by the Department of Agriculture (DAERA) to provide scientific evidence.

    It recommends:

    1. An evaluation of the Expert Working Group and the Internal Project Board output to be made public;
    2. Consumers, public health and animal welfare groups to be included as...
  2. Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Created by Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Aug 1, 2018

    075 Hands Free Hectare

    Written by

    Tonight I'm heading over to Newport in Shropshire to talk to Harper Adams University Agricultural Engineering Lecturer, and co-creator of the World-renowned Hands Free Hectare, Kit Franklin.

    We talk about his early life growing up on the family farm near Cirencester, and how his Father's construction business sparked an initial interest in engineering.

    We discuss his time studying at Harper Adams, and the wide range of practical experience he gained during his time there, as well as when his interest in robotics in agriculture started to develop.

    We hear about a trip to Vietnam and Japan after Uni, which involved a motorcycle repair with a silicon-covered chopstick, before we go on to discuss his return to the UK and decision to take a job as a research assistant at Harper Adams, before eventually becoming a full Agricultural Engineering Lecturer.

    We then talk in detail about Hands Free Hectare. What it is, how it came about, the challenges they faced getting it off the ground, why it's so unique, the costs involved, the practical difficulties, the World-wide attention it's received, and what's next for robotics in agriculture.

    All this and much, much more.

    Kit's at the very forefront of UK agricultural innovation, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to him tonight, and learn more about Hands Free Hectare.

    Check it out...
  3. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 1, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Soon to be made official drone regulations could see users required to formally file flight plans in advance and even include on-the-spot fines for misuse.

    A Government consultation on rules for unmanned flying objects could also see police given the ability to seize the devices if necessary.

    The new measures are intended to ensure drones are being used safely in a market set to grow rapidly over the next decade.

    Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, and with the industry predicted to be worth £42 billion to the UK by 2030, creating a blueprint for safe and secure use now is crucial to prepare for the future.

    The measures in the consultation launched today (July 26, 2018) are part of a wider programme of new drone legislation and will shape the content of a draft Drones Bill due to be published later this year.

    Proposed measures include:

    • Police issuing fixed penalty notices to those disregarding drone rules;
    • Using new counter-drone technology to protect public events and critical national infrastructure and stop contraband reaching prisons;
    • Introducing minimum age restrictions for drone owners in addition to the new tests they will need to take;
    • Proposals for regulating and mandating the use of ‘apps’ on which pilots would file flight plans ahead of take-off.

    Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister,...
  4. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Aug 1, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Inspections for Northern Ireland’s Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) farms are about to begin.

    Participants will have already claimed for the first year of their EFS agreement on the Single Application Form (SAF) in May and, like all other area-based schemes, inspections are set to follow.

    A Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) spokesman said: “Inspectors will visit a number of farm businesses in the coming months to check if they have carried out the Environmental Farming Scheme work claimed for in the Single Application Form.

    The inspection process should be straightforward and penalties avoided if all this work has been completed to the required standard.

    “These standards are clearly explained in the EFS Information Sheets which are available on the DAERA website and in the site-specific Remedial Management Plans for the Higher scheme which are on the DAERA online services portal.

    “If you have trouble accessing these you should contact your local DAERA Direct office.


    “Farmers will be notified if they have been selected for inspection a few days before the actual visit and this will give some time to have other items such as field records brought up to date.

    “We’re aware that a number were granted an extension to their agreement, providing more time to...
  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Two new AHDB cereals research projects on nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) management in oats and wheat have been bolstered by a half a million pound co-investment from industry.

    The latest research is in addition to a complementary Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) project on barley, which started in 2017.

    The funding injection means over £2 million is now being invested in N and S management research in cereal production, with 80% of the funding coming from non-levy sources.

    The work will address major gaps in nutrient management for yield and quality in modern, high-yielding cereal varieties. The results will inform revisions of the AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209).

    Sajjad Awan, who manages nutrient management research at AHDB, said: “We’re delighted so many organisations, including fertiliser companies, academic institutions and processor organisations, have offered to support our nutrient management investment.

    “The commitment is mainly in kind but includes access to a large amount of trial data, which will be analysed in the new work.”

    Cereals research

    The latest round of investment will address significant data gaps identified during the production of the latest version of RB209, which was released in 2017.

    The new project on oats, led by ADAS, looks at some of the uncertainty...
  6. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by Trish Hayes

    Major farmer-owned co-operative Fane Valley Group has appointed a new health and safety manager.

    Hannah Chapman will join the major food producer off the back of JMW Farms – a family-run pig production company based in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

    In her previous role, she was responsible for the health, safety and environmental dealings across multiple sites located in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

    The new management role will assume overall responsibility for the direction and implementation of the company’s health and safety policy across all Fane Valley agri-businesses.


    The Portadown native will spend the coming weeks visiting company locations and engaging with management and staff.

    Chapman said: “Working for such a diverse and progressive agricultural business across multiple sites and joining a wonderful team of people within the agri-sector and agri-food industry is very exciting.

    “I am really delighted to start my new role as health and safety manager with Fane Valley Group.”

    The farmer-owned co-operative claims to be one of the UK’s most progressive agri-food businesses operating across Europe.

  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    Farmers have been encouraged to keep their stock off pastures until grass is as close as possible to the optimum three-leaf stage to overcome potential forage shortfalls.

    The advice from Germinal’s Ben Wixey follows recent drought conditions which have seen growth grind to halt in many parts of the country.

    Wixley warned that turning stock onto recovering grassland too quickly could prove counter-productive.

    “If grazed before they reach the optimum growth stage, regrowth of grassland swards will be stunted and that will mean less grazing later in the season,” he said.

    If grazing is critically short, it will be better to select a sacrifice area to use as a platform for feeding supplementary silage until the better-performing grazing fields have reached the optimum growth stage.

    “One benefit of the heatwave is that soils may well stay warmer for longer into the autumn. This will offer the potential for late-season growth and extended grazing, so it is worth looking after leys during the period of recovery.

    “Identifying the poorest performing fields is also important so that these can be ear-marked for reseeding.

    “Again, warmer soils will extend the opportunity to establish new leys that are going to be an important part of restoring forage stocks.”

    The post...
  8. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by Jim Breen

    New Holland has introduced a “patented” Intelligent Trailer Braking System for its T7 AutoCommand and T6 AutoCommand tractors.

    This innovation is designed to “enhance stability under deceleration with a trailer, particularly on low-friction surfaces”.

    A spokesperson explained: “The system ensures that the deceleration rate of the tractor and its trailer are aligned when the driver reduces the tractor’s speed by using just the transmission, without applying the service brakes.


    “Typically when a tractor and trailer are slowed by just the transmission and engine braking alone, the momentum of the trailer will push against the tractor.

    “This pushing force can cause instability, which may increase the potential risk of a jack-knife situation – especially on steep gradients or low-friction surfaces [such as icy roads or damp grassland].”

    How does it work?

    The so-called Intelligent Trailer Braking System senses the reduction in the tractor’s speed and calculates the deceleration force using a torque sensor within the transmission.

    An electronically-controlled trailer brake valve then automatically applies the...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by Rachel Martin

    An animal welfare charity founded by members of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is looking to recruit two trustees to its board.

    The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) hopes the newcomers will help drive the charity’s mission to improve the welfare of animals through veterinary science, education and debate.

    AWF funds research, supports veterinary education, provides pet care advice and encourages debate on animal welfare issues.

    The charity also funds a variety of animal welfare research projects. Just this week, the results of a study it funded in 2016 into improving the welfare and longevity of rams in commercial sheep flocks were published.

    AWF trustees are responsible for facilitating the achievement of the charity’s mission, providing strategic direction and safeguarding AWF’s brand and reputation.

    The charity is now inviting applications from veterinary professionals with current or recent experience in production animal practice.

    What’s involved?

    Trustees are expected to attend at least two meetings a year during their three-year term, as well as AWF’s annual flagship event in Westminster, the AWF Discussion Forum.

    In addition to this, they are also encouraged to engage with one or more of AWF’s sub-committees focussing on particular areas of the charity’s activity, such as grant making and public...
  10. CPM RSS
    Created by CPM RSS
    Jul 31, 2018

    Written by cpm

    Download PDF Celebrating 25 years since it first set up, supplying machines to UK potato growers, Grimme UK now dominates the British root-crop harvesting market. CPM tracks some of the product development that helped achieve this. There’s always been an innovation infrastructure at Grimme UK that’s encouraged new ideas to come forward. By Tom Allen-Stevens When Grimme UK first started trading 25 years ago, there was little doubt it was going to be a successful business. But sealing that success and allowing the business to grow and dominate the root-harvesting sector in the UK have involved a series of innovations specifically tailored to the UK market. “Grimme is a company with a 156-year history, and Grimme UK was the first daughter company set up by the German parent,” explains the company’s marketing manager Adam Johnson. “The root-harvesting market potential was huge and everyone recognised that the UK was an important player in the potato sector.” Key for the UK market was a trailed machine with a straight-through separation system. Grimme kit was already well established, with over 50% of the UK potato crop at the time passing through the red-liveried machines. These were imported by Pearson, but the company was…
    The post Innovation Insight – Farmer...