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Farming Today

  • 25/06/19: Controlling Mountain Hares in Scotland, Fenland farm report, Curlews

    A new Bill is introduced in Scotland which aims to ban the control of Mountain Hares. Anna Hill asks MSP Alison Johnstone why she feels it's necessary, and hears why David Johnstone from Scottish Land & Estates thinks that managing Hare numbers is part of sustainable Grouse moor management. Anna's also been on a farm tour in the Fens to find out how this intensive food-growing area is coping with the joint threats of rising sea levels and a lack of infrastructure. The number of Curlew in Wales has dropped 80 percent over the last 30 years and RSPB Cymru says farming practices are partly to blame. Emily Hughes has been to Powys meet a partnership of farmers who are seeking to address the drop in numbers of this iconic farmland bird. Producer: Toby Field

  • 24/06/19: Farmer survey on the environment, Water-saving pig troughs, Farmland birds

    In a new survey one third of farmers say they're taking no environmental action to deal with problems on their farm. Charlotte Smith asks Helen Chesshire from the organisation who conducted the survey what this tells us about farmers' attitudes towards the natural world. Anna Hill has been to meet Rob McGregor, a pig farmer in Norfolk who has installed drinking nozzles to his troughs which he says has led to a dramatic drop in water usage and an increase in quality of pork. This week Farming Today is looking at farmland birds and Charlotte asks Martin Harper from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds what can be done to help the dwindling numbers of Grey Partridge and Turtle Dove, and also what he makes of the recent recall and then reinstatement of General Licenses to shoot certain species of birds to protect farmland. Producer: Toby Field

  • Farm Safety

    Farming is the most dangerous job in the UK. An average of 32 people die on farms each year and according to the Heath and Safety Executive, the rate of fatal injuries in agriculture is 18 times higher than the UK average. In this programme, Charlotte Smith ask why. She visits a farmer in Warwickshire who's life was changed when he lost his arm in an accident with a piece of farm machinery. Now, he campaigns for better safety awareness on farms. She also explores the legal implications of farm injuries, and hears about various safety courses being run around the country. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons

  • Flooding in Lincolnshire, Floating Dutch dairy, Health hub

    Charlotte Smith catches-up with Stephen Francis to find out how the flooding in Lincolnshire is impacting on his pea crop, and there's not going to be any compensation for farmers like Stephen according to the Farming Minister Robert Goodwill. Anna Holligan has been to see the cows on the world's first floating dairy in Rotterdam which the owners say could be replicated all over the world. All this week Farming Today is looking at farm safety and in a recent survey farmers asked agreed that promoting good mental health is crucial if lives are to be saved and farmers kept safe. 'Health Hubs' may help as they provide a touch-point for farmers who are struggling, as Anna Varle reports. It's the summer solstice and to mark the occasion the Radio 4 schedule will be speckled with poems to mark the longest day. It begins on Farming Today with Mossbawn: Sunlight by Seamus Heaney. Producer: Toby Field

  • 20/06/19 - Tree planting, the Royal Highland Show, beef emissions and farm safety

    13 and a half thousand hectares of new woodland was planted in the UK last year. But in England the Government tree planting target was missed by 72%. The Woodland Trust describes this as woeful. But others argue the Government's concentrating on the wrong thing, and that re-wilding would be more effective in helping to meet carbon targets. We visit the Royal Highland Show as it gets underway near Edinburgh. With two and a half thousand exhibitors and 190,000 visitors expected over four days, it's one of the biggest shows in the UK. How sustainable is your steak? A new report from the University of Cambridge compares the sustainability of the 4 main systems of beef farming around the world, looking at the land, feed and water used and the emissions produced. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons

  • Late payments for environmental work on farms, Farm safety partnership, Beef exports to China

    22,500 farmers are told they will now get their overdue payments for the Countryside Stewardship scheme, but some have had to wait 4 years. We hear from the Rural Payments Agency and the National Farmers' Union. This week we're looking at farm safety. It’s estimated that between 13,000 and 15,000 serious accidents take place on farms every year, and the majority involve cattle. Corrine Mathias was injured by a cow on her farm in Powys during calving, and now she’s working with the Wales Farm Safety Partnership to warn others about the dangers. A deal worth £230 million pounds has been signed to sell UK beef to China and the first shipments could reach Chinese diners by the end of the year. It's the first time China has allowed British beef into the country since they banned it in 1996 following the BSE crisis. 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.