Could a ‘Meat Tax’ be on the cards in the UK?

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Written by Richard Halleron from Agriland

The latest machination coming from the so-called ‘opinion formers’, who seem to have the ear of government advisors in London, is the introduction of a ‘Meat Tax’ at consumer level.

This approach, it is argued, would have the combined impact of reducing meat consumption levels (I can really see the health benefits coming through now), while also helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of production agriculture.

What absolute drivel! In my opinion, none of this makes sense at any level. This is a scurrilous and unfounded attack on livestock farming in this part of the world.

Yet, it has to be taken seriously. I make this point because economists at Rothamsted Research have already crunched the numbers where the introduction of a ‘UK...

Tidy up your yard

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• Regularly walk around your farm and assess the potential dangers.
• If you want to know what a good farm looks like but don’t know where to start, the HSE have this fantastic resource CLICK HERE

Farm Safety Doesn't Cost the earth....

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Many farmers are happy to invest in their land, livestock and machinery but as we know, they are often reluctant to invest in themselves and their safety:

It costs too much
I can’t afford it
Farming has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK & Ireland with far too many lives being lost and life-changing injuries being sustained every year. Over the past year, 41 people lost their lives on GB farms – almost double the number of the previous year so, if this is your argument – have you ever considered how much it would cost to go to hospital for a night, or how much it would cost to be unable to work for an extended...

Rethink Risk

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This year’s 2021 Mind Your Head video “The Living Years” had 614,000 views on social media and our 2020 Farm Safety Week video “Out of The Mouths Of Babes” had 750,000 views across our social media channels.
In a year where the number of people killed on farms in Great Britain has almost doubled compared to the previous year, we need to take a more serious approach to a more serious issue… Why are farmers continuing to ignore the issue of safety? Why are twice as many over 60s having life-ending incidents on farms...

Rearing calves when batch calving

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More block calves are using ad-lib feeding to achieve better growth rate and lower labour. Better for calves and herdsman.

New research shows stress and tiredness are ‘key factors’ in farm accidents

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Stress and fatigue have been identified as a key cause of farm accidents by researchers from the University of Aberdeen.

The NTSAg group from the University researched the role of non-technical skills in farming and in this project investigated ‘situation awareness’, broadly defined as ‘knowing what is happening around you’.

They found that lapses in situation awareness, related to stress and fatigue, were a main contributory factor in farming accidents.

This project is the first to look at the impact of stress and fatigue on situation awareness and safety in agriculture.

Agriculture is the most dangerous industry in the UK, measured...

GB regional wheat production estimates 2021/22

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Yesterday we published the final AHDB Crop Development report of the 2020/21 growing season, which gives a pre-harvest update into the condition of the main crops in Great Britain. Making use of the regional and national condition scores enables a picture of how 2021/22 production could shape up.

Additionally, our annual planting and variety survey (PVS), released last week, gives us an updated look at planted area figures. Using both of these releases, we can make some robust estimations into yield and therefore production for the upcoming harvest.

In order to produce these estimates the following rules have been applied for estimating yield from crop condition ratings*;

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Food Ethics Council - Response to the National Food Strategy

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Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council, Dan Crossley, gives his initial response to the publication of the National Food Strategy:

“The National Food Strategy feels like a breath of fresh air trying to reinvigorate our food systems at a time when they need an urgent reboot. It powerfully articulates key challenges, gives a carefully considered diagnosis of what’s wrong and lays out some bold recommendations. The headlines of the strategy feel spot on: escape the junk food cycle to protect the NHS, reduce diet-related inequality, make the best use of our land and create a long-term shift in our food culture. The Strategy addresses head-on several difficult but hugely important issues like trade, meat and obesity.

“The headlines...

FFA discusses cost of production based pricing with Sir Peter Kendall

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Written by Rachel Martin from Agriland

Proposals for legislation to establish cost of production linked pricing for farm produce have fallen flat with the author of an independent review on Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry.

Farmers For Action met with ISRAF report author Sir Peter Kendall to discuss the implications of climate change on Northern Ireland farming earlier this month.

The FFA’s Northern Ireland Farm Welfare Bill was also discussed at the meeting.


The Independent Strategic Review of NI Agri-Food (ISRAF) will provide a sharp, focussed review to help set the strategic direction of the sector.

The review will be led by Sir Peter Kendall, who brings decades of experience and...

2021 Blowfly update

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Strike risk now rising, act now to prevent problems

NADIS, in collaboration with Elanco, have once again launched the blowfly risk alert to help farmers and prescribers keep up-to-date and stay aware of the blowfly challenge throughout the season. Elanco encourages farmers and prescribers to report a case of strike on the blowfly tracker to help others be aware of the risk in their local area and across the country.

Professor Richard Wall from Bristol University comments "The strike risk is still increasing, but only slowly due to the recent relatively cool conditions which look likely to persist into the early part of July. A focus on protecting lambs becomes increasingly important given that shearing will have greatly...

New wheat blends launched: Stepping back to move forward

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New wheat blends launched: Stepping back to move forward

Many UK farmers are exploring cereal blends as a way of tacking disease and reducing inputs in favour of a regenerative approach to farming, and leading seed supplier Cope Seeds and Grain, is launching a pre-mixed range of organic and conventional wheat blends to meet growing interest in this approach.

“Blends are nothing new,” says Gemma Clarke, managing director of Cope Seeds and Grain. “Back in the 1980s there were many thousands of tonnes of seed blends being sold and grown in the UK. However...

Arable Scotland - ‘Net Zero Marking Carbon Pay’

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Net Zero – Making carbon pay

Scotland has a legally binding commitment of being Net Zero by 2045. The latest Climate Change Plan requires a 31% reduction in emissions from agriculture by 2032. This topic will be under discussion in the fourth in the series of Arable Conversations at this year’s Arable Scotland event on 29 June at 6pm.

To register for the webinar visit and for more information about the event visit

Chairing the discussion on ‘Net Zero Making Carbon Pay’, will be Dr Kenneth Loades from the James Hutton Institute, he is also the sector lead for soils and crops...

Arable Scotland - Integrated Pest Management - Deriving the Benefits

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Arable Conversations - Integrated Pest Management - Deriving the Benefits – 1 – 2pm, Tuesday 29th June

SRUC led Arable Conversation on ‘Integrated Pest Management - Deriving the Benefits’

Led by Fiona Burnett (SRUC). Panellists include: Caroline Drummond (LEAF), Andrew Moir (Arable Sector Climate Group) and David Howard (Hutchinsons).

To register for the webinar visit and for more information about the event visit

There should be many win:wins in adopting practices that make crops more resilient against crop health threats and associated yield losses, and also benefit the...

Arable Scotland: Sustainable Rotations - Soils, Integrating Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops

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Arable Conversations: Sustainable Rotations - Soils, Integrating Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops
29th June 4 -5 pm

Led by: Tracy Valentine (James Hutton Institute).

Join us for a virtual Arable Conversation 4-5pm with Pete Iannetta (James Hutton Institute), Ed Brown (Hutchinsons), Dick Neale (Hutchinsons), Christine Watson (SRUC) and Paul Hargreaves (SRUC), which will look at the topic of sustainable rotations. The panellists will discuss how soil health and soil function are impacted in positive and negative way by the choice of crop, and how that crop fits within a sustainable rotation.

To register for the webinar visit...

Share your thoughts on crop rotations

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ADAS is conducting a short survey to understand the benefits that OSR brings to a rotation and how factors, such as the loss of the basic farm payment, ELMs, loss of active ingredients and climate ...

Continue reading...

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...

Arable Scotland: Alternative markets and new cash crops

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Arable Conversations: Alternative markets and new cash crops 11.30 – 12.30 on 29th June 2021

Join us at Arable Scotland on 29 June at 11.30 am for an interactive ‘Arable Conversation’ that will discuss ‘Alternative markets and new cash crops’. The session will cover the seasons market potential and the current rollercoaster grain prices. New crops being trialled in Scotland, opening new doors and opportunities for the cereals sector will also feature. Chris Leslie from AHDB, will lead the discussion and be joined by the following panellists.

To register for the webinar visit and for more information about the event visit...

Arable Scotland 2021

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Arable Scotland

Jun 29, 10:00AM to Jun 29, 8:00PM BST

Now in its third year, Arable Scotland aims to bring together the key players in food production from farmers to distillers and exporters to demonstrate and discuss key industry issues such as innovative and sustainable farming.

Following the success of the inaugural event, this year's Arable Scotland is happening online and will major on alternative crops and new markets.

Register here:

The programme for the day is as follows:

11:00 am: Opening and welcome video –...

11 year-old boy seriously injured after falling from a tractor in Nottinghamshire

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Written by William Kellett

An 11 year-old boy is in hospital after he fell from a tractor and suffered “severe leg injuries” in a farm accident.

The boy was on the tractor as it was cutting grass in Bleasby in Nottinghamshire when he fell off and had his leg trapped in the mower.

He was taken to Queen’s Medical centre by ambulance where he is currently being treated for his injuries.

Police have now launched an investigation to establish how the incident occurred.

Inspector Clare Gibson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The boy was on the tractor while it was being used to cut grass.

We believe the young boy has fallen from the tractor whilst in motion and subsequently...

Wynnstay Agri-Hub Podcast, Episode 8: Spring 2021 Lambing Lessons

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In this month’s episode, Tony Morris is talking sheep with National Sheep & Beef Manager, Bryn Hughes; Grass & Roots Manager, Colin Jones and Independent Sheep & Beef Adviser, Liz Genever.
Lambing for the majority has finished, or is coming to a close, and thoughts are turning to weaning strategies and getting lambs to their target weight in the most efficient way.
However, with one of the driest and coldest April’s recorded since the 1980’s, the other topic on everyone’s mind is: what do we do about the grass?

Click here to listen now