18/09/19: Anti GM, Disease-resistant potatoes, Kiwi berries
This week Farming Today is looking at the issues around using genetic modification in farming. Anna Hill has been to a restricted site at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich where a second trial is underway to grow Maris Piper potatoes which are resistant to diseases and even bruising. Anna also interviews Roger Kerr from Organic Farmers and Growers and asks under what circumstances GM crops would be allowed to be sold under the organic label? There's a treat for lovers of Kiwi fruit - the Kiwi Berry provides all the benefits of its namesake fruit with none of the tedium of peeling off that rough hairy skin, and as Emily Hughes has been finding out a farm near Ledbury in Herefordshire has big hopes for this little green treat. Producer: Toby Field
17/09/19 Soya animal feed, Liberal Democrats' rural policies, man-made wetland
Is feeding UK livestock soya, grown in Brazil, helping to damage the planet? We hear a call for clearer labelling to show where animal feed is coming from. What might a Liberal Democrat government - or as a partner in a coalition - mean for agriculture and the rural economy? Water quality has been transformed in a chalk river in Norfolk by creating a man-made wetland. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
16/09/19 GM crops, wild fires, rural homelessness
Genetically modified crops- globally they're grown by 17 million farmers, but not commerically in the UK or most of Europe. Fans of the technology - like Mark Buckingham who works for Bayer and speaks for The Agricultural Bio-technology Council - say they help farmers and the environment. All week we're looking at the arguments for and against GM crops. A new study examines the ecological impact of big wildfires in Scotland. A blaze on peatland in Caithness and Sutherland earlier this year burnt for days. The Fire Blanket project will assess what impact it had on Europe's largest peat bog. Rural homelessness is up 85 per cent in England. An extra 7,900 households - that's families, couples and single people - are without a permanent home. The figures come from the Campaign to Protect Rural England which has analysed the national statistics. It says we need to build more affordable homes in the countryside.
Farming Today This Week: Angling
Sybil Ruscoe heads to Lenches Lakes in Evesham to speak to owner Simon Badger about how he stocks and maintains his fishing lakes ahead of the fly-fishing season beginning in October, and why they chose to adopt a 'catch and kill' policy rather than 'catch and release'. They're joined on the side of the lake by fishermen Mike 'The Heron' Sinclair and Patrick Robson and Sybil asks them about the camaraderie of the sport, whether it's attracting any younger people, and how they minimise suffering to the fish they catch. She also has a quick lesson in fly-fishing from Ed Noyes and learns why the mantra "Back, pause, forward, follow it down." is crucial to any successful cast. There's also a chance to hear from Martin Salter from The Angling Trust who maintains that fish don't feel pain, and from Dr Lynne Sneddon from the University of Liverpool who disputes this claim. Producer: Toby Field
13/09/19: No-deal Brexit plans, Women in farming, French cattle, Fish
As the Government publishes details of Operation Yellowhammer - its worst-case no-deal Brexit scenario - one expert says it will put some people out of business, and lead to shortages of food and labour. Professor Allan Buckwell from the Institute of European Environmental Policy says the plans map out what will happen in the short term, but the impact will be felt for years. Caz Graham is at the Westmorland County Show in South Cumbria. She speaks to three women in agriculture about their careers: the show's chief executive Christine Knipe, the first ever female Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers Rosie Carne, and NFU president Minette Batters. It's the first time French Parthenais cattle have been exhibited at Westmorland. Caz speaks to a winning breeder and finds out why this variety's becoming more popular. And as part of angling week, we find out what the Environment Agency is doing after anglers in the Midlands complained about a lack of fish. Presented by Caz Graham and produced by Rebecca Rooney.
12/09/19: Badger cull, Salmon fishing on the Tay, Smart farming
DEFRA has issued details of the licenses for this year's badger cull which includes eleven new areas covering parts of Cornwall, Avon, Staffordshire, Dorset, Cheshire, Herefordshire, Devon and Wiltshire. Caz Graham asks Neil Parish MP for his response to the expansion of the cull, if he thinks DEFRA have handled the cull appropriately, and whether as a farmer himself he feels culling badgers is an effective means of controlling Bovine TB. For Angling week Nancy Nicolson reports on the dwindling numbers of Salmon in the River Tay. Caz also speaks to Professor Julie McCann about plans for a SMART farm which it's hoped could transform how we farm in the future. Producer: Toby Field
- 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 helpmyfarm.co.uk! Our new sister website aimed at helping farms and rural businesses is here at helpmyfarm.co.uk.
- Agri Assist is born. We are delighted to launch our site dedicated to helping rural businesses in financial difficulty.