1. News
    Created by News
    Apr 8, 2018

    The potato industry is being urged to take part in a free interactive e-learning course on best practice nematicide usage that has been launched by the NSP and ARTIS.

    With the cold and wet weather delaying planting and nematicide applications in some areas, now is the perfect time to refresh knowledge on responsible application.

    “The new online tool aims to encourage and increase the adoption of nematicide stewardship,” says Dr Sharon Hall, chair of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP).

    “It’s suitable for all farm staff and operators who handle nematicides, to ensure that they’re applied efficiently, accurately and safely, protecting the consumer, the operator and the environment,” she explains.

    Developed by ARTIS, the programme will consist of three short 30 minute online modules, the first of which is available online now at www.artistraining.com/e-learning, and focuses on analysis of soil type, potato cyst nematode counts and variety choice when deciding whether to use a nematicide.

    “The courses are designed to build upon the information delivered at the ARTIS Nematicide Stewardship half day courses, which have seen over 1,295 participants to date,” she explains.

    “Through commissioning this project, we hope to bring training in best practice use of nematicides to a wider range of participants, and to ensure a permanent up to date resource is available to all.

    “We believe that adoption of stewardship...
  2. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Apr 8, 2018

    US gene-editing ruling delights plant scientists

    Written by Robin McKie Science editor

    Ruling paves way for creation of new genetically altered crops
    Researchers in the US have been given the go-ahead to use gene-editing techniques to alter crops and plants. The decision opens the door for scientists to create a new generation of genetically altered crops without serious restriction and paves the way for approvals for similar work in Britain and the rest of Europe.

    The decision – by the US Department of Agriculture – has delighted scientists who had feared that limitations on the creation and growing of genetically modified crops would also be imposed on crops created using far simpler gene-editing techniques.

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    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

  3. Direct Driller Magazine
    Created by Direct Driller Magazine
    Apr 6, 2018
    Aqua-Till Uses a Water Jet to Open The Groove

    Originally written by Frédéric Thomas – and published in TCS Magazine in August 2013

    Cutting with water Ultra High Pressure (UHP) technology is rapidly developing in the industrial world. We appreciate its ability to quickly and cleanly cut virtually anything. In agriculture, the need to precisely cut is just as much as requirement and in many different situations, with one such application being opening a furrow for direct seeding. Greg Butler, one of our Australian colleagues SANTFA (South Australian No-Till Farmers Association) who has had the ingenious idea of using UHP technology. Here are his reflections and the first results of its feasibility study.

    The heart of this innovative approach, patented by SANTFA, is to replace the disk opener by a UHP waterjet. This could cut waste and even opening the floor without risk of including vegetation in the furrow. Open the furrow in this way requires much less pulling power and also wear on the components. The device could be provided by manufacturers as an option or available in kit form for mounting on older seeders.

    Not Just Water But Also Fertilizer

    Although the technology was developed with water, other liquid products such as nitrogen fertilizers may be used in the mixture. For phosphoric acid, which may precipitate under high pressure, tests are needed to determine whether it could be used as a cutting agent for the “liquid coulter.”...
  4. News
    Created by News
    Apr 6, 2018

    2018 Big Farmland Bird Count results now online

    The results of the 2018 GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count have now been published and are available to view online here.

    Over 1000 farmers took part and recorded 121 species across over 950,000 acres. That’s more farmers than in any previous year.

  5. Direct Driller Magazine
    Created by Direct Driller Magazine in category Arable
    Apr 6, 2018
    Farming What Needs To Change

    Mike Donovan reviews the seminal Hugh Bunting Memorial Lecture given by Professor Amir Kassam titled The Future of Farming: What needs to Change?

    The audience learned that, in the opinion of the professor at any rate, it was quite a lot. His concern is that agriculture has moved dangerously off course onto a path of declining productivity, and at the same time has negative impacts both ecologically and socially.

    His concern reached tipping point in 2011 when he learned of a dust storm in Germany which caused an 81 car pile-up on the autobahn, and this was after a huge 3m tonne soil plume that took off from Ukraine and dumped on Kent; and the reduction of farm wildlife; the increasing presence of pesticides in food products. His conclusion was that farming did, indeed, need to change if these problems were ever going to be addressed.

    Professor Amir Kassam of Reading University

    Politics, both national and international, have not helped. The UK refused to sign the EU Soil Directive, so preventing remedial changes being made across Europe. The UK's DFID continued to fund international agricultural research in the name of poverty alleviation which does no produce sustainable production solutions. DEFRA's "Soil Strategy for England" features a five furrow reversible plough with digger bodies, and LEAF's document 'Simply Sustainable Soil Solution' for improving land sustainability displays on the cover page a picture...
  6. AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Created by AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Apr 6, 2018

    AHDB’s Potatoes and Cereals Knowledge Exchange teams join forces

    Written by Jimmy.Phillips@ahdb.org.uk

    The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has taken a significant step to improve its offering and better support farm businesses in the arable sector.

    AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseeds and its Potatoes Knowledge Exchange (KE) Teams will unite this month to create a single Arable Team – bringing together a wider range of expertise for the industry.

    Release Date:
    Fri, 04/06/2018

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Potatoes Website...
  7. AHDB Podcast RSS
    Created by AHDB Podcast RSS
    Apr 6, 2018

    21: Wheat growth guide, market update, staff management and new Monitor Farms

    Written by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds

    AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager for the South East, Paul Hill, hosts this month's episode covering what's in a new wheat growth guide, UK supply and demand, the six new Monitor Farms across the UK, and some key learning from the Monitor Farm meetings and webinars on staff management.

    Soundtrack files were created by: andy-gardner, beeproductive, eltenjohn, sangtao, digifishmusic, Serylis, Rutgermuller, Barrelcarb and valentinsosnitskiy via Freesound, with additional music created by Jason Pole.

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Cereals and Oilseeds Website...
  8. News
    Created by News
    Apr 5, 2018

    Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are being encouraged to undertake knowledge updates to maintain their professional competence in the use of stewardship-label rodenticides.

    In its response to UK Rodenticide Stewardship's 2017 annual report, the Government panel that oversees the regime says continuing professional development (CPD) is particularly important. "Management of environmental risks relies on high levels of knowledge among those who use rodenticides outdoors, in order to limit the potential for secondary poisoning of non-target species and other unintended exposure," it states.

    From the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, the body that co-ordinates stewardship implementation, chairman Dr Alan Buckle explains that obtaining a training-based certificate of competence or stewardship-approved farm assurance membership is not seen as a lifetime pass.

    He confirms that the regime's Training and Certification Work Group is currently drawing up CPD materials for all rodenticide user groups.

    Other requirements in the Government panel's response paper include starting to monitor liver residues of rodenticides in the red kite, as a sentinel of scavenging species, in addition to the barn owl that takes live prey.

    The paper confirms, "the Rodenticides Stewardship Regime is fit for purpose". It acknowledges new standards adopted by stewardship-approved farm assurance schemes, the 2018 programme of BASIS store audits, and supply of all requested...
  9. Cap Reform.eu
    Created by Cap Reform.eu
    Apr 4, 2018

    The CAP and migration

    Written by Alan Matthews

    One of the more unexpected sections in the Commission Communication The Future of Food and Farming published in November 2017 was the very final section on Migration. This begins “The future CAP must play a larger role in implementing the outcome of the Valetta (sic) Summit, addressing the root causes of migration.” This is, to my knowledge, the first time that an explicit link has been made between the CAP and migration pressures from countries outside the EU in a Commission publication. For example, in the most recent EU Policy Coherence for Development report from 2015, the section on agricultural policy makes no reference to migration.

    The root causes of migration

    However, 2015 was the year in which more than one million undocumented migrants and refugees arrived in Europe, and several thousands more died in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean. In May of that year, the Commission published its communication A European Agenda on Migration. This referred briefly to the need to address the root causes of irregular migration and...
  10. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Apr 4, 2018

    USDA secretary accused of siding with industry over science in new report

    Written by Jessica Glenza in New York

    A Union of Concerned Scientists report said Sonny Perdue was ‘sidelining science’ and called for congressional scrutiny of the agency

    Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, has been criticized for rolling back school nutrition standards, attempting to upend the food stamps program, rejecting World Health Organization guidelines on antibiotics in agriculture and ending a pesticide ban, in a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) advocacy group.

    Continue reading...

    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask...