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Latest agricultural and business news from Agri Assist and beyond

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Farming Today

  • 17/10/19: Falling demand for beef, SNP rural policy, Rural schools

    The beef industry is coming under pressure - the amount of beef eaten over the summer by fell by 14% and the Scottish beef herd is at its lowest level since the 1950s. Anna Hill asks Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London David Hughes what the causes of this drop might be and whether there are opportunities for beef to be sold more widely beyond the shores of the UK. She also asks Drew Hendry from the Scottish National Party for his view on the Scottish beef industry and more widely about the SNP's rural policy. All this week Farming Today is looking at rural services and Caz Graham's been to a small primary school in the Yorkshire Dales that has had to battle for its future. Presenter: Anna Hill Producer: Toby Field

  • 16/10/19 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and rural banks

    Charlotte Smith visits the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to hear about the future of farming. She speaks to Brett Begemann from Bayer Crop Science and early-stage agri-tech innovators Angie Curtis from Roboscientific and Veena Adityan from Smartbell. As part of this week's look at the issues surrounding rural services, today we focus on Ceredigion in Wales, where five towns in the county have lost all of their banks. Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • 15/10/19: Queen's speech, No-deal Brexit and tariffs, Rural services overview

    Anna Hill and Heather Simons reflect on the Queen's speech and the potential scope of the Environment Bill and Agriculture Bill. One of the aims of the Environment Bill is to meet climate change targets. A major source of one powerful greenhouse gas- methane- is belching cows and a project in Lincolnshire is hoping to reduce the impact of farm animals on the environment by getting them to eat a form of charcoal. With Brexit negotiations continuing Anna asks Chris Southworth, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce what the government's no-deal tariff structure, which was announced last week, could mean for agriculture. All this week Farming Today is looking at Rural Services and Mark Shucksmith from Newcastle University tells Charlotte Smith how services fit into the rural landscape and why centralising services is not always a negative. Presenter: Anna Hill Producer: Toby Field

  • 14/10/19: New report on the badger cull, rural mobile signal

    Charlotte Smith asks Professor Christl Donnelly what her new report tells us about the success of the badger cull in reducing the spread of bovine TB in cattle. Charlotte also gets the reaction of Lord Krebs who supervised the initial randomised badger culling trials on which the culling policy is based. This week Farming Today is looking at rural services and today the focus is on connectivity. In a bid to improve their mobile signal a village in Wiltshire have installed small mobile cells at a fraction of the cost of a big mast. Rebecca Rooney went to meet the people behind the scheme. Producer: Toby Field

  • 12/10/19 Farming Today This Week: Wine

    Charlotte Smith concludes Farming Today's week looking at the UK wine industry with a visit to Ridgeview Wine Estate in East Sussex. This year's harvest has been quite challenging because of the wet weather. Sister and brother team Tamara and Simon Roberts show Charlotte round the winery, cellar and tasting room and explain how the bubbles are produced in their English sparkling wine. Produced by Beatrice Fenton

  • 11/10/19: Tony Juniper on the badger cull, New Scientist Live and farming, Elderflower wine

    In the second part of her interview with the Chair of Natural England Charlotte Smith asks Tony Juniper for his thoughts on the badger cull, and Natural England's role in the licensing and supervision of controlling badgers through lethal force. Charlotte has also been to see why farming has been given a showcase at this year's New Scientist Live event and whether as a result delegates are now considering a career in agriculture. In the final item on wine Mariclare Carey Jones visits Celtic Wines in Llandysul to discover who they use a variety of seasonally and locally fruits to produce a range of wines. Presenter: Charlotte Smith Producer: Toby Field

  • 09/10/19 Payment by results for farmers, badger behaviour in cull areas, fortified wine

    If farmers are given the chance to take control of wildlife schemes on their land, they work harder at it, and achieve better results. That's the conclusion of a report published today by the government, following a two year pilot in Yorkshire and East Anglia. Badgers at the centre of culling areas could be spreading bovine tuberculosis further afield than expected, according to a study by scientists at the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College. And we visit a vineyard growing grapes for fortified wine. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

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.