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Farming Today

  • 22/01/20 Thousands of salmon escape from offshore farm, veterans for agriculture, sugar beet logistics

    Nearly a hundred thousand farmed salmon escaped from a storm-damaged pen off the Scottish coast. We hear what the consequences could be for wild salmon stocks. A project which helps military veterans find careers in agriculture is being expanded across the UK.  All this week we're talking about UK sugar beet. Anna Hill visits grower Jim Papworth, who runs a syndicate of ten lorries for forty growers, to get the beet to the factory at Cantley in Norfolk. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • 21/01/20 Post-Brexit ban on chlorine-washed chicken, Welsh agriculture bill, ropeless lobster pots, fodder beet

    Today we hear how the EU has had to defend its current ban on importing hormone injected beef and chlorine washed chicken in the courts, and why the UK could find it even harder to keep those bans in place post-Brexit. Anna Hill speaks to Welsh farming secretary, Lesley Griffiths, to get some more detail on the plans for Welsh agriculture outside the EU. Trials are underway off the Scottish coast, trying out a new type of fishing gear aimed at reducing the number of whales and other large marine animals that get entangled in ropes. As part of this week's focus on sugar beet, Mariclare Carey-Jones visits farmer Rhodri Davies who grows fodder beet in the Vale of Glamorgan. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • 20/01/20: Devolved farming, Sugar beet, Weather

    The Agriculture Bill is now making its way through Westminster, but - as agriculture is devolved - the changes it introduces will only apply to England. Charlotte Smith asks what's in store for farmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a post-Brexit world. The wet autumn and winter is causing problems for arable farmers, many of whom have still not yet been able to get crops into the ground. We visit a waterlogged farm in Leicestershire. All this week Farming Today will be focussing on sugar growers. With the sugar beet harvest just coming to an end, Anna Hill meets the chairman of the NFU's Sugar Board, to ask how it's going. Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Emma Campbell.

  • Pig Farming in the UK

    There are around 5 million pigs in the UK, but fewer pig farms than you might expect: a handful of big firms now dominate the sector and 92% of production comes from about 1600 farms. Production methods differ greatly from farm to farm - with various indoor, outdoor, free range, and organic systems. In this programme, Charlotte Smith visits an indoor pig farm in Devon to explore some of the challenges facing the industry: from farrowing crates and tail docking, to soya and African Swine Fever. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons

  • 17/01/20: Future of farming after the Agriculture Bill; Protein for pigs

    The new Agriculture Bill currently going through Parliament could see the biggest changes to farming in two generations. There is also speculation about what it might mean for the future of Defra itself - could it be restructured or merged with another government department? Charlotte Smith finds out. Continuing a week-long look at the pig industry, we hear about efforts farmers are making to reduce their reliance on imported soya as a source of protein in pig feed. Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Emma Campbell.

  • 16/01/20 - The new Agriculture Bill, pig welfare and tail docking

    The Agriculture Bill is back in Parliament. It sets out the system which will replace the Common Agriculture Policy after Brexit. The 7 year transition will start next year, so out go payments based on how much land a farmer has and in comes "public money for public goods". There have been some changes to the Bill proposed in the last Parliament: soil quality is now included as a public good, there's a plan to modernise agricultural tenancies and a 5 yearly review of food security has been introduced. Charlotte Smith quizzes the Secretary of State over the new Bill and asks about the future of DEFRA after the upcoming reshuffle. Tail docking is a common but controversial practise on pig farms. It's done to prevent pigs biting each other's tails which can cause serious injuries. We visit a farm to find out why it's done. We also hear from a former pig vet who is now a vegan campaigner about pig welfare. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons

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.