1. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS
    Jul 15, 2019 at 9:42 AM
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    Written by John Swire

    A 10 acre maize maze at the National Forest Adventure Farm in Staffordshire, created using an electrically driven drill directed by RTK satellite guidance, offers a spectacular illustration of the capabilities of modern precision farming.

    Contractor Michael Tomlinson, working closely with Nick Wells from Rea Valley Tractors and RVT’s precision agriculture team, used his new 8-row Kuhn Maxima 3 TI E drill to sow the field with a single pass on 1st May. The resulting intricate maze design that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing has been achieved without any manual intervention in the field.

    Mr Tomlinson, who has drilled the maize maze at the site since the attraction opened 16 years ago, explains how the new drill with electronic section control and variable row widths offered the opportunity to move to a new level of creativity.

    “In previous years we’ve drilled the field twice, in two directions, at 75cm row widths, and then the pattern has been marked out using GPS and a lot of canes, with the paths being hoed out manually,” he explains. “This year we took the design and had software written that would enable the drill to create the pattern. We set the drill at 37.5cm row widths and used approximately double the normal seed rate. With autosteer, precise electronic section control on the drill, and RTK satellite guidance...
  2. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 15, 2019 at 5:12 AM
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    Written by Agriland Team

    AHDB has struck a new partnership with its equivalent levy body for arable in New Zealand to share knowledge and resources to benefit arable growers on both sides of the globe.

    Alison Stewart, chief executive of the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), visited AHDB at its Warwickshire headquarters in Stoneleigh Park to find out about its work and to agree to collaborate.

    A packed agenda gave Prof. Stewart an overview of AHDB’s research and knowledge exchange programmes, with a particular focus on benchmarking, soil health, integrated pest management (IPM), skills and the environment.

    FAR funds a wide range of research for its arable and maize levy-payers to tackle issues themed around reducing cost, improving yield, adding value, resilience, environmental responsibility and innovation. The new partnership will allow FAR and AHDB to develop a mutually-beneficial international portfolio of activities and initiatives.


    In the first year, a programme of research co-funded by the two organisations will look at:

    • Knowledge exchange;
    • Soil quality benchmarking;
    • IPM; and
    • farm productivity benchmarking.


    The work will be overseen by a management steering group, which will agree all projects and allocate budget.

    Rebecca Geraghty, chief technical officer at AHDB, said: “I’m delighted we have entered into this agreement with our...
  3. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 14, 2019 at 4:32 PM
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    Written by Agriland Team

    Even moderate levels of soil compaction can reduce grassland output levels by 20%, according to Alex Higgins, from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

    “Tackling the problem can be problematic though,” he explained. “Works should be undertaken when the minimal level of further damage to the soil can be minimised.”

    He went on to point out that the soil cracking so widely noticed throughout the UK and Ireland during last year’s drought had the benefit of breaking up compaction pans at lower depths within a soil profile.

    However, he cast some doubt on the benefits that can be delivered by spikes and other types of soil aeration equipment.

    “Farmers must identify where the soil compaction problem has arisen,” he explained. “Is it near the surface or is at a lower depth? Many of the techniques available to deal with compaction issues may only deliver a temporary respite to the problem.”

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    Higgins was one of the speakers participating in the series of seminars that featured at Sheep NI, held in Ballymena earlier this week.

    He repeatedly stressed the need for all grassland farmers to have their soils tested and analysed on a regular basis....
  4. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 14, 2019 at 2:22 PM
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has today announced an expert panel of judges for its Young Vet of the Year Award – a new accolade aimed at vets at an early stage in their careers who are already making a big difference in their field or community.

    Launched as a joint initiative with Zoetis, this award is the first of its kind in terms of cross-community reach and aims to shine a light on ‘exceptional young vets’ across the UK.

    It hopes to highlight a young vet who leads, inspires, impacts and goes above and beyond what is expected of them early on in their career.


    Judges will include:

    • Lord Trees, Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and Crossbench member of the House of Lords;
    • Daniella Dos Santos, BVA’s junior vice president and a small animal and exotics vet;
    • Niall Connell, upcoming RCVS president and chairman of the society’s Diversity Working Group;
    • Chloe Roberts, a recent graduate and BVA Council member;
    • Wendy Talbot, European specialist in equine internal medicine and national equine veterinary manager, Zoetis.


    Applications have been coming in thick and fast with nominated entries from across the profession, from nurses, vets, and even clients.

    The winner of the Young Vet of the Year Award will receive a prize of £1000 cash as well as a career-enhancing experience with Zoetis.

    Entries are...
  5. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The English oilseed rape area has fallen to a 16-year low, following a year of challenging agronomics and pest pressure.

    According to the results of the annual AHDB Planting and Variety Survey, the oilseed rape area has been replaced by an increased cereal area – notably wheat and oats.

    The overall barley area has remained largely static, although more winter barley has been planted and the area of spring barley reduced.

    AHDB analyst Peter Collier said: “The challenges being faced with oilseed rape have resulted in the lowest area since 2003.

    “With an increased area planted to cereals and potentially good yields, a greater importance should be placed on marketing grain effectively, especially in light of Brexit uncertainty.”


    The key findings of the survey are:

    • GB wheat area is estimated at 1.8 million ha, a 4% increase from 2018;
    • GB spring barley area is estimated at 708,000ha, down 4% from 2018;
    • GB winter barley area is estimated at 422,000ha, 11% higher than 2018;
    • Area of oilseed rape in England and Scotland is estimated at 514,000ha, down 11% from 2018;
    • Area of oats in England and Scotland is estimated at 178,000ha, a 9% increase from 2018.


    The full AHDB Planting and Variety Survey results are available to download on the AHDB Survey Results...
  6. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 14, 2019 at 10:22 AM
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    LEAF Education has today (July 10) announced the launch of the very first National Network of Demonstration Schools set up to showcase best practice in food and farming education.

    Through the network, LEAF’s demonstration schools will act as best practice examples of using food production, farming and the countryside as a core element of the school curriculum.

    This could be around exemplary teaching methods, engagement with farmers, provision of school gardens, nature-friendly grounds and wider school community engagement as well as events and activities specifically designed around the field-to-fork story.

    A total of 20 primary and secondary schools will be launched as LEAF Education Demonstration Schools over the forthcoming 2019-20 academic year.


    The following schools are being launched as the first cohort of bronze LEAF Education Demonstration School in July 2019:

    • Norton Church of England Primary School, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire;
    • Chilmark and Fonthill Bishop Church of England Primary School, Salisbury, Wiltshire;
    • St James’ CE Primary School, Chorley, Lancashire.


    Carl Edwards, director of Education and Public Engagement at LEAF Education, explained: “Farming is relevant to every aspect of the curriculum.


    We want to shine a light on schools that are leading the way in embedding farming into their teaching...​
  7. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 14, 2019 at 5:22 AM
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    The Borderlands partnership has announced it will invest up to £8 million into a new Centre of Dairy Innovation in the South and West Faculty of Scotland’s Rural College.

    A Dairy Innovation Centre has been included in the Heads of Terms agreement for the Borderlands partnership, which was signed in Glentress this week.

    Based at SRUC’s Barony Campus, near Dumfries, the centre aims to encourage knowledge exchange and create innovative research across the Borderlands region.

    The award-winning Langhill herd will also be based at the new Dairy Innovation Centre.

    The Dairy Research and Innovation Centre will work with industry and academics to reduce the time it takes for research and technology to be applied within commercial dairies and the supply chain.

    There will be a focus on testing new products, technologies and production systems, as well as looking at how to deliver carbon neutral farming solutions.

    Professor Wayne Powell, chief executive and principal of SRUC, said: “Through knowledge exchange and collaboration, the Dairy Innovation Centre will support economic growth across the Borderlands region.


    We are looking forward to working with the Borderlands partners to develop a world-class facility that will drive skills, employment and innovation and I’d like to thank the partners for their support.

    “SRUC has an important...
  8. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 13, 2019 at 5:12 PM
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    Written by Agriland Team

    Newgrove Estate comes to the market as an exceptional residential and agricultural estate extending to about 149.3ac (60ha) in total, including traditional outbuildings and farm buildings. It is located at 191 Ballylesson Road, Belfast, Co. Down, BT8 8JU.

    It has a favoured situation, being only six miles south of Belfast city centre; Lisburn, meanwhile, is four miles; the M1 motorway (connecting Belfast to Dublin) is also four miles in distance; Belfast City Airport is 10 miles; and Belfast International Airport is 18 miles.

    The River Lagan forms the north-western boundary of the estate. The area is characterised by its rolling productive farmland either side of the Lagan Valley.

    Arable, pasture and woodland


    The farmland is let on a Conacre basis to a number of local farmers. In the past, it previously carried a dairy herd of 100 milking cows, as well as pigs, chickens and horses.

    The land is situated within a contiguous block and with a gently undulating topography.

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    The agricultural element of the estate is a key feature and comprises 118ac of productive arable land which has the ability to grow...
  9. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 13, 2019 at 2:02 PM
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    Written by Rachel Martin

    Winter wheat and barley trial plots showcased at Wynnstay’s Arable Event are looking exceptionally well and showing good yield potential, having been given a boost from the recent rainfall.

    Hundreds of growers were able to view over 40 varieties, including some new additions to the AHDB Recommended Lists for cereals and oilseeds 2019-20.

    Jonathan Baxendale, combinable crop manager at Wynnstay (pictured above), led the trial plot tours at the event held on June 19, at Western Park, in Shifnal, Shropshire.

    “Growers main concern had been the dry spell in April and May,” he said.


    But, thanks to the rainfall in early June, crops are now looking on track to yield well at harvest, and if we continue to have the weather predicted, growers should be rewarded in the shed.”

    “Group 4 hard feed wheats Gleam, Graham and RGT Gravity, are looking particularly well and I would expect them to achieve high yields this year if the weather continues to be favourable.

    “Graham, in particular, is looking on track to perform as predicted on the Recommended List, being the highest yielding group 4 hard for the west. It has an excellent septoria resistance rating of 6.9, and good standing power with a score of 8 for lodging with a PGR,” he said.



    Baxendale also highlighted standout barley varieties. “Two-row feed barley, Surge, is performing...
  10. Agriland RSS
    Created by Agriland RSS
    Jul 13, 2019 at 10:22 AM
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    Written by Hayley Lynch

    Newgrove Estate comes to the market as an exceptional residential and agricultural estate extending to about 149.3ac (60ha) in total, including traditional outbuildings and farm buildings. It is located at 191 Ballylesson Road, Belfast, Co. Down.

    It has a favoured situation, being only six miles south of Belfast city centre; Lisburn, meanwhile, is four miles; the M1 motorway (connecting Belfast to Dublin) is also four miles in distance; Belfast City Airport is 10 miles; and Belfast International Airport is 18 miles.

    The River Lagan forms the north-western boundary of the estate. The area is characterised by its rolling productive farmland either side of the Lagan Valley.

    Arable, pasture and woodland


    The farmland is let on a Conacre basis to a number of local farmers. In the past, it previously carried a dairy herd of 100 milking cows, as well as pigs, chickens and horses.

    The land is situated within a contiguous block and with gently undulating topography.

    [​IMG]

    The agricultural element of the estate is a key feature and comprises 118ac of productive arable land which has the ability to grow the...