Latest news


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Farming Recovery Fund is being given to farmers affected by summer flooding

Farmers affected by August flooding can now apply for flood grants through the Farming Recovery Fund – a £2 million fund to help farmers with repairs.

Through the Farming Recovery Fund, farmers in parts of North Yorkshire and Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property can now apply for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of repair costs.

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Farm yard up for property auction

Property investors and developers seeking out lucrative buys in prime Welsh locations can look to the latest property auction led by national auctioneer John Pye Property.

Development opportunities across residential, mixed-use commercial and agricultural land will be on offer at the John Pye Property online auction taking place on 25-26 September.

Three lots of agricultural land in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, totalling 63.5 acres is up for grabs, one of which, comprises 3 acres of land and 20,000 sq. ft of agricultural buildings. With a guide price of £95,000; this particular site is ideal for accommodation, cropping and cattle grazing.

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Farm Diversity magazine cover - issue 1

After launching the new rural business magazine in early 2019, the team at Farm Diversity have spoken to many farmers up and down the country who have taken a successful leap into diversification.

We’ve heard from people setting up glampsites, education establishments and even wedding venues. The diversification projects support the farming side of the business and provide an additional stream of income – particularly valuable when times are tough in farming.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all been plain sailing for those diversifying their rural businesses – Farm Diversity features warts-and-all case studies of people who have worked hard to overcome adversity and reap the rewards.

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The Large Scale Farm Fire that broke Out In Perthshire

A large scale farm fire in Perthshire broke out on Sunday night (15th September 2019) and is still being tackled over 12 hours later. 

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Farmer charged for livestock neglect

John Hasell (81) of Harm Farm, Hinton Blewitt has been charged £10,000 and has been banned from keeping animals after officers found cattle living in muddy fields full of rubbish. 

Trading Standards officers discovered that a herd of 70 to 80 cattle were living in neglect, competing for hay and drinking water from dirty puddles full of mud, rubble and plastic waste. Three calves from the herd were found entangled in wire fencing and other livestock had been left without vet treatment for some time. 

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Pipes underneath the Sustainable Housing Development

A new-build development forming part of an existing fruit farm in Cornwall will soon see more than fruit coming out of the ground, it will also be extracting heat.

Coastline Housing’s scheme of 26 affordable houses and flats in the small village of Mitchell near Newquay, will be heated by Cornish-manufactured Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pumps and installed by sister-company Kensa Contracting. George Gillow, Business Development Manager for Kensa Contracting says, “it is a pleasure to be involved in a project which will bring affordable, low carbon heating to local families."

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Farming Conference new director Marion Regan

The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) has appointed three new directors to join its board for 2021-23. Pedigree sheep farmer and consultant Liz Bowles will join the 10-strong council with Head of Rural Research at Savills and Nuffield Scholar, Emily Norton and Marion Regan, the Director of Berry Gardens, one of the UK’s largest grower cooperatives.  
 
The three successful candidates will officially take up their positions for a three-year term following the farming conference in January 2020. 

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Horses in a field - diversification can turn rural land into houses

Keeping the great British farming industry alive is imperative for rural communities and to support the challenges being faced, many farmers are looking to diversify

Gavin Leverett, Managing Director at Serenity Parks, a leaning provider of gated community living for over 45's, discusses how this can be achieved in partnership with the farming community and the benefits that can be delivered by diversifying into a business that supports retirement to rural communities

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AHDB Tractor on field vegetable crops

Field vegetable producers are set to benefit from four new centres that will demonstrate the latest horticultural research in practice

Launched this year, the centres will showcase the latest ideas, science and technology to improve integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.

Located across the UK the demonstration sites will specifically focus on carrots, peas, onions and brassicas.

They will build on the success of AHDB’s variety trial programme, which has been running for over 20 years, by expanding to incorporate grower-led research trials.

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oilseed rape

Don’t be too hasty dropping winter oilseed rape (WOSR) from rotations based on short-term performance, says Mike Thornton, head of crop production for leading agronomy firm, ProCam. Projections of its profitability relative to winter wheat for harvest 2019 could nudge it back closer into contention, he believes, especially when its wider agronomic benefits are also taken into account.

According to Mr Thornton, figures from ProCam 4Cast, the company’s annual ‘big data’ analysis of thousands of hectares, show the profitability of WOSR dropped below that of winter wheat for the first time in several years last harvest – with WOSR gross margins on the top 25% of farms falling from £1,083/ha to £850/ha from harvest years 2017 to 2018, while winter wheat jumped from £1,014/ha to £1,250/ha. However, this switchover was largely due to a rise in cereal prices after the drought-affected 2018 harvest, he says, while OSR prices remained relatively static.