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Latest agricultural and business news from Agri Assist and beyond

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Farming Today

  • 02/08/21 - Tackling water pollution from farms, Sheep week begins

    Charlotte Smith speaks to a government minister and the Rivers Trust about new plans to tackle water pollution from farms. Sheep week begins on Farming Today and according to DEFRA there are nearly 33 million of them here in the UK, with lamb and mutton production worth £1.3bn. Phil Stocker from the National Sheep Association says that despite considerable uncertainty in the market and changes to subsidy payments, the future is looking bright for upland and lowland farmers. Presenter: Charlotte Smith Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

  • 31/07/21 Farming Today This Week: Small farms, sustainable food labeling, Orkney water shortage

    Today we consider 'sustainable' in food terms - what does it mean, and how do we know it means what we think it might? We investigate the future of small farms in the brave new world of post-Brexit agriculture. And the lack of rain in Scotland, and particularly on Orkney, how the drought is having an impact on farmers. Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • 30/07/21 - Small Abattoirs, Scottish small farms

    As an abattoir in Machynlleth prepares to shut its doors on Saturday Caz Graham speaks to the owner about his decision and asks an industry spokesperson what needs to change in order to keep these smaller facilities going. Moira Hickey is in Scotland to speak to the owners of two small farms about the challenges they face. Presenter: Caz Graham Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

  • 29/07/21 Should the smallest farms be eligible for ELMS farm payments? Light recipes for plants.

    Should farms under five hectares be eligible for ELMS, the Government's new post-Brexit environmental farm funding scheme? The Landworkers' Alliance thinks so. DEFRA plans to initially roll the scheme out only to farms currently signed up to the old EU Basic Payment Scheme and that excludes farms that are smaller than 5 hectares. We hear from Jyoti Fernandes on why that should change. And a business that specialises in technology for vertical farming, where crops like salads are grown indoors in layers under artificial light, is developing what they call light recipes to improve growth. Presented by Caz Graham and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • 28/07/21 - Sustainable beef and dairy, Welsh tea, Isles of Scilly farm

    Anna Hill speaks to Don Broome about a new study assessing the sustainability of food production, and asks how British beef and dairy compare to other systems in the world. Two years ago, Lucy George took a leap of faith and turned her fruit farm just outside Cardiff, into Wales's only tea estate - Caroline Evans has been to meet her. For small farms week, Mariclare Carey-Jones is on the Isles of Scilly to meet two farmers who when faced with falling revenues during the pandemic decided to try growing chillies. Presenter: Anna Hill Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

  • 27/07/21 - Shortage on the shelves, Hot Air Balloons and livestock, Small farm diversification

    A leading food processing company has warned of shortages. Anna Hill asks James Bielby of the Federation of Wholesale Distribution where the bottlenecks are in the system, whether government exemptions will improve the current situation, and how things might unfold in the coming months. On Saturday's Farming Today This Week we heard from a listener whose cows had been spooked by a low-flying hot air balloon, and today Anna speaks to Wendy Rousell from the British Balloon and Airship Club about what steps their members take to avoid farmland and about their code of conduct. For small farms week Rebecca Rooney visits a farm on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border that is working hard to diversify its offering from pasture-fed beef and breeding cows, into leather hides and glamping. Presenter: Anna Hill Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

Agri Assist

  • In the know: Our summary of the impending changes to direct support that Brexit will bring.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: The Government announces that levels of farm debt are rising. Some fare better than others.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: Feed-in Tariff to close.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: Read our summary of the recent case of Moore v Moore that is another cautionary tale about proprietary estoppel.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: Read our summary of the recent case of Wild v Wild, which concerns whether or not an asset is owned by a partnership or an individual partner.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: The law regarding plant nurseries and national non-domestic rates is clarified.
  • In the know​​​​​​​: Read our summary of the recent case of Gee v Gee, concerning proprietary estoppel.
  • Agri Assist launches In the know​​​​​​​ to keep those working in the rural sector up to date with the latest cases and relevant issues.
  • ... as is! Our new sister website aimed at helping farms and rural businesses is here at
  • Agri Assist is born. We are delighted to launch our site dedicated to helping rural businesses in financial difficulty.