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The Farmers Weekly Podcast
Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and UK farmer Hugh Broom discuss the biggest news in agriculture, available every Friday.
2 days ago
Cattle and footpath fatalities, food imports and standards, trade deals, government's give-and-take Budget, oilseed rape prices soar, & young sheep shearers
In this episode, farmers turning out cattle this spring are being warned to this twice before putting cattle and calves in fields with public footpaths. We look at ways livestock producers can carry on farming – while ensuring people are safe when using public rights of way. Trade deals with other countries must be matched with protection for UK farmers from substandard food imports, says a watchdog. But does the recommendation go far enough? And does the government's independent Trade and Agriculture Commission strike the right balance? In the markets, oilseed rape is the latest commodity to see a price surge. Two business management experts examine the implications of this week's give-and-take Budget for your farm business. And we look at the opportunities for young farmers to start sheep shearing – and how it can take you right around the world. This episode of the Farmers Weekly Podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom.
Feb 26, 2021
Thieves target farm dogs, 'economic shock' for family farms, all AHDB levies now face levy vote, lamb prices up (again), £2m food export campaign, Labour farm policy review, & Fieldwork Book Club
In this episode, we investigate how criminal gangs are stealing farm dogs worth thousands of pounds – and selling them on the black market. As Defra secretary George Eustice confirms that all AHDB sector bodies will now face a vote on their future – we ask how exactly will the ballot work? Family farms face an 'economic shock' as direct payments are phased out, says the Labour Party – but what does leader Keir Starmer propose instead? On the markets, lamb prices are on the rise gain. Trade and industry secretary Liz Truss unveils a £2m export campaign for British food and drink – but will it benefit farmers or just food processors? And we find out how an online book club is bringing hundreds of people together to discuss the future for food, farming and the countryside. To join the Fieldwork Book Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The two books mentioned are English Pastoral by James Rebanks; and Sitopia by Carolyn Steel. Special guests include *Liz Truss (*Secretary of State for International Trade), *Luke Pollard *(Shadow Defra secretary), *Will Bevan*, (shepherd, Gloucestershire), *Aled Davies* (NFU Cymru adviser for Carmarthenshire), *Adam Bedford* (Fieldwork Book Club), *Sarah Morris* (FieldMouse Research), *Carolyn Steel* (author). This episode of the Farmers Weekly Podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with FW livestock reporter Michael Priestley.
Feb 19, 2021
Rebel levy payers eye next target, AHDB Horticulture, sugar beet support, lamb price surge, Red Tractor cereals, Covid, mental health, farm charity beer, & #MindYourHead week
In this episode, we examine the implications for farmers after growers vote to end the compulsory levy they pay to AHDB Horticulture. As a terrible sugar beet season nears an end, we ask whether a support package from British Sugar is enough for farmers to keep growing the crop. On the markets, it's all about lamb prices – where will they go next? The chairman of the Red Tractor cereals board seeks to reassure growers that assurance scheme standards aren't out of control. It's Mind Your Head week and we visit an East Yorkshire microbrewery which has launched a brand new beer to help raise money for a farm charity. And we look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health among farmers – and how more people are talking about the challenges they face. The following charities and organisations are among those offering support for farmers, including help with mental health and wellbeing: * Farming Community Network * Royal Agricultural Benevolent Association * RSABI * Addington Fund * You Are Not Alone (YANA) Guests on this week's episode include flower grower Simon Redden (Redford Flowers), carrot grower Rodger Hobson (British Carrot Growers Association), tomato grower Philip Pearson (APS Produce), sugar beet grower Stafford Proctor (Proctor Bros), NFU sugar chairman Michael Sly, auctioneer Ted Ogden (CCM Auctions, Skipton), Essex farmer Guy Smith (Red Tractor cereals), James Hodgson (Great Newsome Brewery), Dr David Rose (Reading University) and Stephanie Berkeley (Yellow Wellies / Farm Safety Foundation). This episode of the Farmers Weekly podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom.
Feb 12, 2021
Early retirement scheme, lump sum support payments, new entrants, lambing students, store cattle prices, Countryside Stewardship, & Farmers Weekly Award winners
In this episode. we examine government plans to let farmers in England take a one-off lump sum in place of their remaining direct payments. The aim is to help some farmers leave the industry while making way for new entrants. How might the scheme work – and what do we need to know? The latest Countryside Stewardship offering is open for applications – we take a special look at the latest improved options and payment rates. With peak lambing season almost here, veterinary students will be arriving on farms for work experience placements. We look at how you can get the best from your lambing student – and make sure they have a good experience at the same time too. On the markets, we have the latest arable commodity prices – and store cattle are on the rise. And we speak to some of the winners of this week's Farmers Weekly Awards – with a special message from HRH the Prince of Wales. Special guests include *Lynette Steel* (Tenant Farmers Association), *George Lyon* (former president, NFU Scotland), *Alison Rickett* (Fresh Start Enterprise Centre), *Vicky Robinson* (Natural England), *John Aynsley* (farm manager, Skelton Farming, North Yorkshire), *Paul Dennison* (Strutt & Parker), *Peter Eccles* (farm manager, Saughland Farm, Midlothian), *Abi Reader* (dairy farmer, Vale of Glamorgan). This episode of the Farmers Weekly podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with FW editor Andrew Meredith and FW livestock reporter Michael Priestley.
Feb 5, 2021
Worrying rise in dog attacks on sheep, how to eat fit for farming, commodity prices, ELMs and environmental delays, & Farmers Weekly awards preview
In this episode, we examine the reasons behind a worrying increase in dog attacks on sheep. What are the facts behind the figures? Farmers are great at looking after their crops and livestock – but as a busy spring time approaches, what is the best way to look after yourself? We look at the best foods to eat to keep you "Fit and Farming" with a top sports dietician who is starting a new course for farmers. Commodity prices have been buoyant – but is the heat coming out of the market? MPs question the government's commitment to the environment – as flagship legislation is delayed again. We look at the implications for farm businesses. And with the year's biggest farming celebration set to get under way. we have a special preview of the Farmers Weekly Awards. Who will the winners be? This episode of the Farmers Weekly podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom.
Jan 29, 2021
National Trust threat to family farm, Red Tractor pros & cons, how best to manage flood water, calf prices, marathon for #Run1000, & Pub Yields podcast
In this episode, a Norfolk farming family says the National Trust is threatening their livelihood – by refusing to a remove a restrictive covenant. We examine what farmers in a similar position can do to get covenants removed. With Red Tractor farm assurance prepared to ratchet up standards, two farmers debate the pros and cons of the scheme. Does Red Tractor really deliver benefits? On the markets, calf prices jump as supplies tighten, with many buyers bidding keenly for limited numbers before spring. As winter floods start to recede, the NFU says a government strategy is vital to give farmers a key national role in water management. We chase after a Lincolnshire farmer who lost four stone in just nine months before running a marathon for the #Run1000 farm charity campaign. And we meet the two young farmers from Wales behind the Pub Yields podcast – with top banter for everyone missing a Friday night pint with their friends. Special guests on this episode include: Norfolk farmer *Julie Barber*, Roythornes solicitor *Tim Russ, *Staffordshire farmer *Clive Bailye*, Surrey farmer *Laurence Matthews*, Hertfordshire farmer and NFU deputy president *Stuart Roberts*, Yorkshire farmer *Richard Bramley*, Lincolnshire farmer *Charles Anyan*, and Bridgend farmers *Jacob Anthony* and *David Rees*. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker with Surrey farmer Hugh Broom and Farmers Weekly livestock reporter Michael Priestley.
Jan 22, 2021
Ban on dirty tractor exports, ELM payments and costs, Brexit meat and livestock backlog, fury at vegan 'milk' ads, & prospects for farm shows in 2021
In this episode, paying farmers to look after the environment could create more stable farm incomes, say researchers. We examine possible payment rates for the forthcoming Environmental Land Management Scheme – and who will pay to get your farm in order? Second-hand tractor sales are the latest victim of new Brexit rules – with machinery having to be thoroughly cleaned of mud before it can be exported. The new requirement aims to stop plant diseases spreading from country to country – we look at the implications for farmers selling machines. Meat processors are also warning of problems with Brexit red tape – as export delays mean livestock are starting to back up on farms. We examine the latest advertisement campaign from vegan drink manufacturer Oatly. Dairy farmers are furious – are they right to complain? And we look at the prospects for the agricultural show calendar – which events will go ahead this summer? And which ones are deciding to postpone? Special guests include crop scientist *Caroline Harkness* (Rothamsted Research & Reading University), Leicestershire farmer *Phil Jarvis (*NFU environment forum chairman), *Nick Allen* (British Meat Processors Association), Pembrokeshire dairy farmer *Steve Evans*, machinery auctioneer *Bill Pepper* (Cheffins), *Richard Parris* (Parris Tractors), consumer insight manager *Susie Stannard (*AHDB), *Steve Hughson* (Royal Welsh Agricultural Society), *Chris Riddle* (Royal Cornwall Show) and *Michael Stocker* (Cranleigh & South Eastern Agricultural Society). This episode is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly livestock reporter Michael Priestley and senior machinery reporter Edd Mowbray.
Jan 15, 2021
Muddy mayhem in the Covid countryside, Brexit red tape hits farm supplies, farm invention competition, flood proposals 'could decimate farms', & #Run1000
Farmers are being urged to have their say as walkers turn footpaths into quagmires due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. We speak to a farmer forced to watch as his wheat crop was damaged by hundreds of walkers straying across his field. Natural England is asking farmers to help revise the Countryside Code as it tries to encourage people to act responsibly when taking their daily exercise. Lack of clarity over Brexit rules is hampering supplies of livestock feed and animal medicines to Northern Ireland – with farmers likely to pay the price. Entries are open for the Farmers Weekly Farm Invention Competition. We get the low-down on the Skeyton snack bar – a microwave installed in a tractor weight-box – and a pizza oven hot tub made in the farm workshop. Find out how you can enter the competition here. And we catch up with the #Run1000 campaign – hundreds of people from across UK agriculture who are raising thousands of pounds for farm charities. Guests include Buckinghamshire farmer *Daniel Hares*, *Pippa Langford* (Natural England), *Jeanette Dennis* (Ashtons Legal), Northern Irish farmer *Sam Chesney*, *Ed Barker* (Agricultural Industries Confederation), *Duncan Wyatt* (AHDB), Shropshire farmer *Sam Barker*, Scottish farmer *Sheena Horner* and Lincolnshire farmer *Charles Anyan*. This episode is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly livestock editor Rhian Price and Farmers Weekly senior machinery reporter Edd Mowbray.
Jan 8, 2021
Oxford Farming Conference, gene-editing, Brexit deal, 2021 outlook, hare coursing, Helmut Claas tribute, & New Year Honours
Gene-edited crops and livestock could soon be permitted on farms in England under plans contained in a government consultation. The plan was unveiled by Defra secretary George Eustice at the Oxford Farming Conference – but Scottish rural cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing urges caution. Red tape is hampering trade in agri-food products between the UK and EU – we examine the impact of the Brexit deal for farmers. At the start of the New Year, 700 growers and livestock producers tell us what they hope 2021 holds for them – the opportunities and challenges. Police and campaigners call for tougher action against hare-coursers. We pay tribute to farm machinery pioneer Helmut Claas, who has died age 94. And we celebrate success with the Farmers Weekly award winner who scooped an MBE in the New Year Honours list. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly executive editor Phil Clarke.
Dec 18, 2020
Clampdown on modern slavery in UK farming, Red Tractor, British & Irish beef, Brexit, farming filmsets, new FW editor, & bumper year for farm shops
Human trafficking and modern slavery are major problems for UK agriculture, with up to 13,000 workers exploited annually in the food and farming sector. A clampdown on worker welfare means farmers will soon have to show they are abiding by modern slavery rules under plans for the Red Tractor scheme. Is it sensible move? Or will it mean yet more red tape for growers and livestock producers? As Brexit talks go down to the wire, we look at the likely impact of no-deal on trade in beef and other products between the UK and Ireland. Discover how you can make money by turning your farm into a film set. And a new survey shows that farmers are the most trusted part of the food chain – but will a bumper year for farm shops continue into Christmas? This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with FW editor designate Andrew Meredith.
Dec 11, 2020
Flood-hit farmer v Environment Agency, hill farming future, natural capital, Red Tractor, dairy bull calves, AHDB strategy, & potato waste fertiliser
A flood-hit farmer has vowed to clear his name after being accused of illegally damaging a mile-long stretch of protected riverside in Herefordshire. John Price, of Day House Farm, Kingsland, says he had permission to carry out work on a flood-prone stretch of the river Lugg, near Leominster. But his actions now face scrutiny by three government agencies. They have launched a joint investigation following reports of activities including dredging, the illegal felling of trees and profiling of the river banks. We also look at the vital contribution made by hill farmers to the Welsh economy - and how producers face an uncertain future due to changes in farm support. What is natural capital? And how can you make it pay on your farm? The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board unveils a new five-year plan – and wants you to have your say on the levy board's future. The Red Tractor Farm Assurance announces a review of its standards – and we've all the latest market prices in…
Dec 4, 2020
It's all about money for ELMs, new entrants, early retirement scheme, live exports, post-Brexit trade, young farmers & Drive-Thru Nativity
The government launches its plans for post-Brexit farm support, but have they told us anything new? And what about payments? As the EU Trade talks enter the very final stages what is it really going to happen on farm after the Brexit transition ends on 31 December 2020. We ask What does re-wilding really mean? And could it be good for farmers? The government says it will pay farmers to quit – so younger and more innovative farmers can take their place. How will it work? We've all the latest market prices – as more farmers decide to stop growing oilseed rape. Can the crop make a comeback? And young farmers find a way around Christmas Covid rules – by organising a drive through nativity. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with Farmers Weekly deputy news editor Andrew Meredith.
Nov 27, 2020
ELMs sneak preview, JCB electric telehandler, natural capital, regenerative agriculture, Groundswell Agronomy, 'car crash' cattle accidents, legal action against bank, on-farm cricket centre
We take a sneak preview as the government finally prepares to unveil details of its flagship Environmental Land Management scheme. How easy will it be to join? And how much money can you expect to receive? Machinery giant JCB has gone green – and launched its first fully electric farm telehandler – we get the lowdown on its power and performance. The world's a less lonely place when it comes to regenerative agriculture – with the launch of a new agronomy group. We talk to a 24-year-old farmer who almost lost his life after being crushed by a cow – and speak to a surgeon who says farm accidents are as bad as car crashes. We've the latest market prices – and examine the case of hundreds of farmers who claim a high street bank acted illegally when lending them money. And we meet the farmer who hopes to "knock 'em for six" by opening a first class cricket coaching centre.
Nov 20, 2020
Sugar beet virus yellows, 'Mutually Assured Farm Destruction', livestock antibiotics, how dairy farmers can cut methane, & Hollywood farm trailer advert
Sugar beet growers hit by virus yellows could be given special permission to use neonicotinoid-treated seed next spring – if the government gives the go-ahead. Growers are walking away from the crop after seeing yields plummet due to the disease. But will an emergency neonicotinoid application work? Defra secretary George Eustice hits back following criticism after suggesting UK sheep and dairy farmers could ride out a no-deal Brexit. What was he talking about? We've the latest market prices – and welcome news for farmers of an extension to annual investment allowance tax relief. Our farm medicine usage is edging up as new sector targets are launched – but is it blip more than an upward trend? We find out how California has cut its dairy methane by a quarter – and examine what UK producers can learn from the drive for Net Zero. And we hear what happened when two Hollywood stars bought a Welsh football club and make a spoof advertisement for a farm trailer manufac…
Nov 19, 2020
Special Episode: Brexit, Butter & Beef - Defra secretary George Eustice hits back over 'laughable' no-deal claims
In this exclusive interview, Defra secretary George Eustice hits back at criticism after suggesting UK sheep and dairy farmers could adapt to a no-deal Brexit. It comes after Mr Eustice rejected the suggestion that no-deal would devastate the UK lamb sector – insisting instead there would be opportunities despite a short-term dip in prices. Mr Eustice defends his view that some mixed beef and sheep enterprises would take the opportunity to switch to producing more beef and less lamb. The claim – made on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, 15 November 2020 – was described as laughable by the National Sheep Association. Mr Eustice also defends his view that Danish dairy processor Arla would have to relocate production of its Lurpak butter to the UK so it could still supply the British market. Lurpak has said this would be impossible because legal origin protection rules mean it can only produce Lurpak in Denmark using Danish milk. Interview by Farmers Weekly chief reporter…
Nov 13, 2020
Machinery dealer shake-up, lower Basic Payments, oilseed rape, ELMs, methane, Net Zero farming, regenerative agriculture, & myth-busting glyphosate
A shake-up in the farm machinery dealer network has seen major restructuring for big name brands and franchises. We look at what it means for farmers – and for other machinery manufacturers. Pressure is mounting on the government to help ease the pain of reduced farm support as the basic payment scheme is phased out. Could it do more to help farming families? On the markets, we look at the prospects for oilseed rape – and the impact that a rise in Sterling could have on your farm business. Defra approves an NFU proposal for the Environmental Land Management scheme to include ways of encouraging farmers to reach Net Zero. As livestock producers take action to mitigate climate change, we ask whether concern over methane emissions is justified – or just a load of hot air? And we talk to the independent film-makers who are asking farmers to go Dutch as they plan a myth-busting movie about glyphosate. For more details about the Glyphosate Chronicles film featured in this episo…
Nov 6, 2020
Defra plan to ban fertiliser, Government U-turn on food standards, Lockdown 2.0, What US election means for UK farmers, AHDB consumer trends, &Young Farmer awards
The government has unveiled controversial plans to ban urea fertiliser – we examine what it means for your farm business. Ministers finally agree to give farmers a bigger say on food imports. But is it enough to stop British farmers from being undermined by food imports produced using methods that would be illegal in the UK? As England enters another coronavirus lockdown, we examine ways producers can tap into the latest consumer trends in red meat, dairy and fresh produce. We travel across the Atlantic for the US election – and find out what a change in American president means for British farmers. And we celebrate the winners of some new awards for young farmers who go the extra mile for their friends and colleagues. This episode is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.
Oct 30, 2020
Where next for Red Tractor farm assurance? Protests over food standards, flood-hit farmer one-year on, market prices, & insects for animal feed
Red Tractor chairman Lucy Neville-Rolfe is out after she voted against measures to protect British farmers from substandard food imports. What next for the farm assurance scheme? Growers and livestock producers take to the streets over the government's refusal to ban food imports produced using methods that are illegal in the UK. One year after footage of his flood-hit farm was beamed around the world, Henry Ward says he fears a repeat of the disaster that left his house reachable only by boat. Capital allowances for agriculture are changing - and we've all the latest commodity prices in our latest market round-up. And could turning insects into animal feed be the next big thing? This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.
Oct 23, 2020
Red Tractor chair must resign, say farmers; regenerative agriculture; British beef exports; straw prices; & Britain's Fittest Farmers
Assured Food Standards chairman Lucy Neville-Rolfe faces calls to resign after she voted against measures to protect British farmers from cheap food imports. Baroness Neville-Rolfe voted against amendments to the government's Agriculture Bill – in a move farmers say undermines the credibility of the AFS Red Tractor assurance scheme. The amendments sought to ensure food imports to the UK meet the same high standards as those met by British growers and livestock producers. Also on this week's podcast, Back in the USA – British beef is being sold in America for the first time in 24 years. Could China could be next on the menu? As a big supermarket chain unveils plans to source food only from UK farms that are carbon neutral, we talk to a new group formed to promote regenerative agriculture. We've all the latest market news – with arable prices climbing upwards this week, how much should you be paying for straw supplies this coming winter? And we meet Britain's Fittest Farmers…
Oct 16, 2020
Farm fires, BBC bias, footpath diversions, food standards, Agriculture Bill, sheep sales, & Young Farmerados
In this episode, the National Farmers Union wins a victory against the BBC after complaining about the broadcaster's “meat is killing the planet” programme. Tory rebel MPs who voted against their own government say there is still hope for British farmers who want to keep substandard food imports out of the UK. The cost of farm fires reaches a five-year high – we examine innovative ways of reducing the risk of arson and electrical faults. We've all the latest market news – and we pay a special visit to the sheep sales at Melton Mowbray mart in Leicestershire As fatalities involving cattle hit the headlines, could landowners be allowed to divert footpaths to keep walkers safe when livestock are in the field? And it's not about the place, it's about the people. We meet the young farmers who set up a pop-up living room at Sedgemoor livestock market in Somerset. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with Farmers…
Oct 9, 2020
Grain quality dispute, Agriculture Bill, Livestock Information Service, blueprint for farmed environment, & #AgMentalHealthWeek
In this episode, the government says it is unlikely to accept amendments to its Agriculture Bill – find out the implications for farm businesses. Arable farmer Olly Harrison says a lorry load of his wheat was unfairly rejected. What should you do when a buyer says your grain isn't up to scratch? Industry leaders publish a blueprint they say will enable farmers to deliver the government's new environmental land management scheme. We find out whether Defra secretary George Eustice agrees. Plans are hotting up for a new way to trace livestock movements. But will they come to fruition in a way that works for you? And we speak to the Irish dairy farmer behind the global phenomenon that is Ag Mental Health Week – helping to improve wellbeing on the farm. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.
Oct 2, 2020
Beef 'carbon tax', grain market prospects, future of AHDB Horticulture, Bovine TB special, Britain's Fittest Farmer, & National Harvest Festival
In this episode, plans to impose a 'carbon tax' on farmers who finish prime beef cattle later than 27-months-old have split industry opinion. Some farmers have welcomed the idea – but others say it would favour intensive beef production and unfairly discriminate against traditional breeds reared on grass. Meanwhile, growers have triggered a ballot on the future of AHDB Horticulture – arguing that the levy board fails to deliver value for money. With the barn doors closing on this year's cereals harvest, we take a special look at grain prices in our latest market round-up. We pump some iron – or at least go for a run – as we join the hunt for Britain's Fittest Farmer. And we celebrate the best of British Food Fortnight – with the UK's national harvest festival. There's a special royal message – and a you can take part too. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly livestock editor Rhian Price…
Sep 25, 2020
Wet autumn worries, wheat drilling dates, weather outlook, market prices, pig prospects, Donald Trump and US farmers, & robotic grain meter
In this week's podcast: it's raining and storms are on their way – could we be looking at a repeat of last year's wet autumn? We look at the long-term weather forecast for the coming weeks – and how it could affect your cropping plans. Growers reveal their drilling intentions for winter wheat – who is going early and who is going late? And what's the risk? We've details of an interim post-Brexit support scheme for English farmers facing the abolition of direct payments – plus our latest market prices. With the US presidential election looming, we go stateside to examine whether American farmers could win Donald Trump a second term in office. And we get the lowdown on a robotic moisture meter that 'swims' through in-store grain to help check and maintain its quality. This episode is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith and Farmers Weekly arable correspondent Louise…
Sep 18, 2020
Net Zero, carbon-friendly farming, soil health, Brexit agri-food uncertainty, & British lamb barbecue
It's a year since the National Farmers Union unveiled ambitious plans for UK agriculture to be carbon neutral within two decades. We examine whether the NFU's Net Zero 2040 target is realistic and achievable – and ask whether it goes far enough. Ongoing uncertainty over post-Brexit border arrangements between the UK and Ireland could have a huge impact on trade in agri-food products. We look at the implications for farmers after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that food producers could face swingeing tariffs. In other news, scientists at Lancaster University say the clock is ticking on the world's soils – are they really running out? And we visit Northumberland for a British lamb barbecue as LEAF gears up for an action-packed weekend of food and virtual farm tours to welcome British Food Fortnight.
Sep 11, 2020
Badger cull, Hotel California Brexit, fair deal for dairy farmers, latest market prices, & world's largest monthly farm machinery auction
The 2020 badger cull gets under way to combat bovine tuberculosis in cattle – we meet a farmer who says it is helping tackle the disease. As the Brexit rhetoric ramps up, so too are efforts to ensure British farmers aren't undermined by a flood of cheap food imports. Will they succeed? A top UK expert explains what is really happening in trade talks – and what it means for farmers and food producers. A deadline to get a fair deal for dairy farmers is about to expire. Have you had your say and could it mean a fair price for all? And the world's biggest monthly farm machinery auction makes a welcome return after a six-month lockdown due to coronavirus. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.
Sep 8, 2020
Special Episode: AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir outlines timetable for 'root and branch' reform of levy board
Farmers will have more say in the way their levy money is spent by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). In this exclusive interview, AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir talks about the timetable for a ballot to be held after details are finalised with the government. The decision for "root and branch reform" follows a Defra call for views from levy payers on ways to improve the way the AHDB operates. The organisation will also improve the way it communicates with farmers – and be more transparent in the way it works, suggests Mr Saphir. "When will they see change? Pretty much straight away," he says. Difficult choices lie ahead to ensure the levy board delivers for farmers, he adds. Other reforms include a review of the AHDB's board and committee structure, Mr Saphir tells Farmers Weekly Podcast co-host Hugh Broom.
Sep 4, 2020
Back British Farming Day, family farms, Brexit, challenging Yorkshire harvest, AHDB reform, & Britain's most expensive broadband
Government ministers and MPs are being urged to Back British Farming ahead of a crucial four months of post-Brexit trade talks. It comes amid a stark warning from a top economist who says one in three family farms could go bankrupt in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It's a challenging harvest in Yorkshire – and many other places too – we've the latest prospects and prices in our regular market round-up. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board pledges substantial changes – and says it will let farmers decide how their levy money is spent. And Britain's most expensive broadband – a Cumbrian farmer is told he must pay more than £104,000 to get a decent connection. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom.
Aug 27, 2020
Countryside stewardship, sugar beet contracts, no-deal Brexit lamb compensation, bovine tuberculosis vaccine, & rally driving farmer
Farmers working hard to look after the environment face being disadvantaged because the government won't allow changes to countryside stewardship agreements. It follows a government decision to abolish EU “greening” rules requiring farmers to manage some of their land as ecological focus areas – or EFAs. The concern is that thousands of hectares of EFA land could now be ploughed up unless Defra allows farmers to include it in countryside stewardship. We examine the implications. Meanwhile, British Sugar is offering sugar beet growers are a new contract to grow the crop. But does it taste as sweet as it should? Sheep producers could get compensation for a no-deal Brexit. It could happen – but will be worthwhile – and can the government afford it? UK scientists are testing a new vaccine against bovine tuberculosis – describing it as a potential breakthrough. And a rally-driving Herefordshire farmer becomes something of an internet sensation after filming some dare-devi…
Aug 21, 2020
Food security, Defra targets farm pollution, milk and dairy alternatives, harvest update, & 100 episodes of the Dewing Grain Podcast
Food security and self-sufficiency must be a key part of the UK's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, say farm leaders. UK self-sufficiency in food production stands at just 64%, according to the latest figures from the National Farmers Union (NFU). The country would run out of food on 21 August if it had to rely entirely on domestic supplies for a whole year, says the union. In this podcast, we also examine growing concerns over the impact of a challenging harvest on UK cereal production. Can you farm without nitrogen? The government wants farmers to reduce pollution from agriculture as it sets out new environmental targets. Meanwhile, in a boost for milk producers, food campaigners say UK dairy products are more sustainable than any plant-based alternative. And we celebrate the 100th episode of the Dewing Grain Podcast, which has gained a cult following for its informative – and sometimes irreverent – look at UK farming. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly executi…
Aug 13, 2020
£1m combine harvester, breeding sheep sales, oilseed rape dilemma, wheat and barley, & Prince Charles backs new farm charity
The cost of new machinery continues to scale new heights with John Deere slapping a hefty price tag on its latest X9 1100 combine. Many growers will struggle to find the best part of £1m to spend on the flagship combine, which is capable of harvesting 100 tonnes of wheat an hour. Is farm machinery too expensive – and how can we make it more affordable? Farm business consultant Gary Markham explains. It's been a terrible harvest for oilseed rape – more growers are abandoning the crop – but should we be sticking with it? We speak to Essex grower Will Streeter and Harper Adams entomologist Tom Pope, who is looking at alternative ways of combatting cabbage stem flea beetle. Trade was buoyant at the Thame Summer Sheep Sale – a welcome sign of confidence in breeding ewes and a successful lambing season. Auctioneer Simon Draper gives his verdict on the sale, as do sheep seller Rob Harrison and buyer Becky O'Neill. We've a special focus on prospects for wheat and barley sales -…
Aug 7, 2020
Fertiliser explosion, farm thefts, spring barley harvest, min-till and cover crops, & wool petition
UK farmers are being reminded to store fertiliser safely after an explosion involving 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed over 130 people in Beirut. For Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Green, the tragedy brought back memories of the 1974 Flixborough disaster – when a chemical plant exploded in his village, killing 28 people Also in this episode, we look at the latest rural crime report. With Crime in the countryside at an eight-year high, we examine the impact on farmers – look at what is at the top of the farm theft shopping list. Min-till is all the rage for some farmers – but it certainly isn't for everyone. We visit a group of farmers in Scotland and find out how they are regenerating their soils by getting down and dirty with the brown stuff in the field. We've all the latest prices – in our regular market round-up with a special look at spring barley and winter wheat as a patchy harvest continues. And there's a glimmer of hope for sheep producers seeking a fair price…
Jul 31, 2020
Three-crop rule scrapped, food imports, challenging harvest, planning reform benefits, & BBC Countryfile
Defra has confirmed that farmers in England will no longer have to comply with environmental greening rules to receive their full annual basic payment. We examine what the end of the three-crop rule means for farmers and the countryside – and the future for agri-environment schemes. Following the launch of a government commission on food standards, we speak to the farmer who will get your message across to ministers and trade negotiators. Will it really make a difference? As a variable harvest continues, we have the latest reports on yield and quality – as well as our regular round-up of market prices, with a special look at dairy. We look at one idea to deregulate the planning system – and how it might benefit your farm business and diversification. And we discuss the target audience for the BBC's Countryfile programme – after a farmer's jokey tweet at the show's expense goes viral. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer…
Jul 24, 2020
Wheat harvest, new TB test trial, electric 4x4s, rising lamb prices, & farm safety figures
The wheat harvest has kicked off in the south of England, with variable yields highlighting the challenges faced by the tricky growing season. Growers give their verdict as combines roll into wheat crops across the country. We talk to Defra chief scientist Gideon Henderson about a breakthrough in the battle against bovine tuberulosis - could a new test make all the difference? It’s Farm Safety Week with good news that fatalities are falling – but a recent worrying spike means there is no room for complacency. And is it time to chop in your smutty diesel 4x4 for an all-electric pickup? We speak to a farmer who plans to go green. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly senior machinery reporter Edd Mowbray and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly arable reporter Emma Gillbard and executive editor Phil Clarke.
Jul 16, 2020
Farm safety week, dairy costings, rural crime, animal health and welfare, environmental stewardship, & straw prices
On the Farmers Weekly Podcast, it's Farm Safety Week – and we have a special interview with farm safety campaigner Jane Gurney. Jane's teenage son Harry was killed in an accident involving an unroadworthy trailer – and she founded the Tilly Your Trailer safety campaign in his memory. She talks about the campaign, how it is improving safety on farms – and the launch of the Head to tow app. We look at what the government's Animal Health & Welfare Pathway means for livestock producers and how it could benefit the red meat sector – if done correctly. Rural crime is always a hot topic – and we examine how police and farmers are joining forces to combat fly-tipping, hare-coursing and farm theft. On the markets, we look at the latest dairy costings – and get to grips with straw prices as combines continue to roll into cereal crops. And we talk to a farmer who has won a three-year battle to bring land back into production after a 10-year environmental stewardship scheme…
Jul 10, 2020
Hydrogen tractors, oilseed rape harvest, AHDB rebels, autumn sales innovation, market prices & comment
In this week’s Podcast we talk to the growers who want a ballot to decide the future of their AHDB Levy. The OSR harvest gets underway across the country just as one of the key processing sites suffers a major fire. We look at the results of this year’s annual crop plantings survey from AHDB and how farm tourism gets a boost from VAT cuts. Auction marts across the UK work flat out to keep the show on the road, innovating and adapting in preparation for the big autumn breeding sales. And we find out how you can cut your fuel bills by a quarter… the answer is hydrogen. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly executive editor Phil Clarke and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly business editor Suzie Horne.
Jul 3, 2020
Barley harvest, trade and agriculture commission, AHDB commodity outlook, market prices, & farm safety apps
In this week's podcast, harvest 2020 is go with combines rolling into barley across the south of England as a challenging season nears its conclusion. We talk to two growers – one in Devon and one in East Anglia – and get the lowdown on yields and moisture content as the first crops are combined. In a surprise announcement, the government has finally agreed to set up a commission to help ensure British farmers aren't undermined by substandard food imports. We ask NFU president Minette Batters and farming campaigner Vicki Hird of Sustain whether they think the commission will deliver on the government's promise. On the markets, we examine the prospects for arable farmers and livestock producers – as the AHDB unveils its latest commodity outlook report. And we take a look farm safety as the latest annual fatality figures show that workplace deaths in agriculture have fallen to their lowest recorded level. More farmers are using apps to help them keep safe while at work –…
Jun 26, 2020
Have your say on ELMs, cabbage stem flea beetle, worthless wool, farm investment, market prices, & drive-thru strawberries.
Farmers are being urged to help shape the government's forthcoming Environmental Land Management Scheme. The flagship support scheme – which will come into place as direct payments are phased out – will require farmers to undertake environmental work on their land. We speak to Natural England head of agriculture Geoff Sansome and Tenant Farmers Association chief executive George Dunn about how the new scheme will work. With the coronavirus lockdown easing further, we examine whether it is the right time to invest in your farm business – by talking to one of the UK's top agri-bankers. We have our latest market round-up – and talk to Welsh sheep farmer Gerallt Hughes who is trying to salvage some value from worthless wool – by using it as fertiliser. On the arable front, scientists have found a wasp that kills cabbage stem flea beetle – could it be the answer oilseed rape growers are looking for? And enterprising farmer Elaine Clarke beats social distancing rules and…
Jun 19, 2020
Huge support for farmers, rethinking rotations, land prices, small abattoirs, machinery sales, & Black Lives Matter
In this week's podcast, – one million people have now signed an NFU petition calling on the government to ensure all imported food meets UK standards. Farm leader Minette Batters explains how they NFU is determined that UK farmers will not be undermined by substandard food imports. Re-thinking arable rotations – we examine why more growers are ditching traditional break crops in favour of a two-year sown legume fallow. We speak to Suffolk farmer Tom Jewers, seed specialist Ian Gould of Oakbank, Strutt & Parker farm consultant George Badger and Natural England agronomist David Whiting. We have our usual market round-up – including a special look at farmland with rural specialist Andrew Shirley of land agents Knight Frank. We preview what promises to be one of the country's biggest farm machinery dispersal sales – with tractors and implements from across 30,000 acres. Auctioneers James Durrant of Clarke & Simpson, Bill Pepper of Cheffins and Harvey Pile of Stags say online…
Jun 12, 2020
Wheat harvest prospects, food standards, ram sales, coronavirus insurance, & World Gin Day
In this week's podcast, an NFU petition calling on the government to make sure food imports are produced to UK standards is set to pass one million signatures. It comes in the week that the House of Lords have been debating the Agriculture Bill – we ask whether the government can be trusted on farming. As one of the most challenging seasons in living memory nears a conclusion, we examine the prospects for this year's wheat harvest On the markets – beef continues to rise as ram sales are put into jeopardy. We take a special look at business interruption insurance – what chance of a payout is there for farm diversifications forced to close because of coronavirus? And we raise a glass to World Gin Day – with two farmers who saw an opportunity and started distilling their own. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom. With Farmers Weekly business editor Suzie Horne and Farmers Weekly livestock editor Rhian Price.
Jun 5, 2020
Killer cows, cereal varieties, red meat revival, mobile phone offences, & pizza with the Henry Plumb Foundation
In this week's podcast, the death of an 82-year-old rambler who was attacked and killed by cows highlights the dangers of mixing cattle with walkers. Cattle were responsible for nine deaths nationally last year – including non-farming folk who were killed while out walking in the countryside. We talk to retired agronomist John Porter – who lost his brother Mike when the two men were attacked by cows while out walking seven years ago. In other news, get off those mobile phones – police warn tractor drivers they are breaking the law by taking calls on the road. On the markets, there's a red meat revival as consumers return to a product they know and trust – benefiting beef and lamb producers. We examine the latest wheat and barley varieties ahead of autumn planting, as we take a special look as we preview this month's Cereals Event. And we meet a farmer who started his own pizza business – with an extra special ingredient thanks to the Henry Plumb Foundation.
May 29, 2020
Drought fears, gene-editing, new season lamb, fertiliser prices, Strategic Farm Week, & Jersey potatoes
In this episode, drought fears grow as lack of rain hits crops and grass growth across much of the UK – farm leaders call for action. We look at the weather prospects for the June – and towards harvest. MP Julian Sturdy and Professor Cristobal Uauy from the John Innes Centre explain how they believe gene-editing could benefit UK farmers. Suffolk farmer Brian Barker explains how he uses keeps track of farm inputs and we examine the prospects for new season lamb prices. We preview all the latest arable news ahead of the AHDB's Strategic Farm Week 2020 and we find out why Jersey Royal potato growers are going green. This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.
May 22, 2020
Tractor GPS thefts, Prince Charles & harvest workers, tariffs, barley bulge, & mental health awareness
Police are warning farmers that criminal gangs are targeting farms across the country – stealing GPS systems worth thousands of pounds from tractors. Prince Charles joins the campaign to get Brits working on farms and help bring in this year's harvest. We need “pickers who are stickers,” he says. The government says it will introduce tariffs to protect UK farmers from sub-standard food imports. It might help – but will it really work? On the markets – there's a big barley bulge – and not just in the UK. Resilient food and farming businesses are adapting to changes in consumer demand as the coronavirus virus continues. We talk to a top banker. And young farmers make sure their wellbeing is top of the agenda during the lockdown with a new campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week
May 15, 2020
Lockdown eased, fight over food standards, fungicide ban, online livestock sales, & lemons in the Outer Hebrides
In this week's podcast, we look at the impact on farmers as coronavirus restrictions are eased and allow people back into the countryside. Social distancing must still be observed – of course – but concerns remain that an influx of visitors from towns and cities could spread the virus through rural communities. Farm leaders say the fight goes on after MPs ditch the idea of making sure food imports adhere to the high standards met by UK growers and livestock producers. It follows the return of the government's Agriculture Bill to parliament – and the defeat of a key amendment on animal welfare and environmental standards. With less than a week to go before key fungicide chlorothalonil is banned, we look at the implications – and some alternatives – for arable growers. On the markets – urea prices are set – as sheep prices maintain momentum. A Lanarkshire farmer celebrates after selling a Limousin bull for £15,000 in an online auction – what is the future for liv…
May 8, 2020
Dust mask shortages, oilseed rape guarantees, food security, dairy payments, & TB-test troubles
Farmers and grainstore managers face a critical shortage of dust masks ahead of harvest because demand has soared due to coronavirus. People are buying up the masks to limit the spread of the virus – making them hard to come by for farmers who need them when working in grain stores. Dairy farmers are to receive up to £10,000 each in government help to get them through the coronavirus pandemic. We talk to an MP who says the crisis highlights the importance of food security and resilience. We take a special look at oilseed rape – a break crop at breaking point? And we examine whether money-back seed offers are good enough for farmers to stick with the crop. We have our latest market news – and get the low-down on auction marts as breeding sales return to the ring. A Welsh vet explains how he takes care to avoid spreading coronavirus when TB testing cattle. And we find out why a team of sheep shearers had an unexpected visit from the local police. This episode co-hosted by Fa…
May 1, 2020
Rain boosts crops, machinery spares, public support for farmers, dairy hardship, & garden centres
In the last week of the driest April since records began, it finally rains – prompting growers to tweak their crop management programmes. We ask three farmers – David White (Cambridgeshire), Colin Woodward (Oxfordshire) and Craig Livingstone (Hampshire) – how they are getting along. Growers of ornamental plants say garden centres which were shut down under coronavirus restrictions must reopen to the public as soon as possible. Sales of ornamental plants are worth £1.4bn annually – and May is the busiest month. Martin Emmett from Tristram Plants says his business is on a knife-edge. In the markets, pressure is mounting on the government for hardship payments to help dairy farmers ride out the coronavirus lockdown. NFU president Minette Batters tells us how public support for British farmers has increased during the lockdown – and why a dairy support package is vital. As their European factories reopen, machinery manufacturers say they are pulling out all the stops to…
Apr 24, 2020
Farmers demand better from AHDB, Red Tractor inspections, COVID-19 loans, & Welsh NVZs
Farmers are to get more say on how the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board spends their money. We talk to AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir and Mark Coulman of the Tenant Farmers Association. Devon sheep farmer Colin Rowland, Essex cereal grower Ed Ford and Cumbrian dairy producer Robert Craig all say there is room for improvement at the AHDB. In the markets, the government wants more farmers to apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan – Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith explains how you can get your hands on some money. Winter barley crops are coming under an increased disease threat. We get advice from independent agronomist Peter Cowlrick in southern England and Agrii agronomist Greig Baird in Scotland. Welsh farmers are up in arms about plans to make the whole of Wales a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. We ask: are the new restrictions really necessary? The coronavirus pandemic means Red Tractor assurance inspections can't be done on farm – s…
Apr 20, 2020
Special Episode: Peter Kendall talks food & farming
Sir Peter Kendall reveals all about his time at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board – after serving six years as AHDB chairman. In this special interview – recorded just days after Sir Peter left the AHDB – he tells Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker that: * Queues outside supermarkets during the coronavirus crisis are a stark reminder that farming should be at the centre of government policy * It would be “bonkers and insane” for the UK government to allow in cheap food imports that don't meet UK standards. * Treasury rules are a "pain in the backside" and government bureaucracy sometimes slowed down important AHDB decisions * Growers and livestock producers should be given a vote on whether AHDB levies should continue – and how they should be spent * The government must be more ambitious if it is to work successfully in partnership with British farmers and UK agriculture * Farmers must play their part in raising productivity – rather…
Apr 16, 2020
Sky lantern threat, AHDB levy money, Minnesota farmers, & British Beef Week
In this week's podcast, MPs and fire chiefs side with farmers who want people banned from releasing sky lanterns as a show of support for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis. We talk to Hampshire fire chief Neil Odin, who says the emergency services have enough to deal with without having to fight fires caused by the lanterns. Meanwhile long-awaited government report is set to see changes for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, says former AHDB chairman Sir Peter Kendall. The yet-to-be published document follows a review of the AHDB's role and activities – which has so far been more than 18 months in the making. In our markets round-up, it's a tale of up horn but down corn this week, with wheat prices easing but lamb showing signs of a slight recovery. On a global level, we take a trip across the Atlantic to see how coronavirus is affecting agriculture in the USA, particularly farmers in Minnesota. And with British Beef Week celebrating its 10th anniversary th…
Apr 9, 2020
Milk dumping, yellow rust in wheat, sheep shearing, & lockdown learning
Turmoil in the dairy supply chain due to Covid-19 is forcing UK farmers to throw away thousands of litres of milk. We speak to Staffordshire dairy farmer Peter Pratt and NFY Cymru dairy board chair Abi Reader. Agrovista agronomist Linda Sheppard has a special look at all things arable – and Jeff Fieldsend of FMC Agro explains how a new mutation of yellow rust disease is threatening winter wheat crops across the country. Beef farmers are up in arms about shipments of cheap mince arriving in the UK from Poland. Neil Shand of the National Beef Association says it is unacceptable for British producers to take more pain. And Jill Hewitt of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors explains how an online match-making service is hooking up sheep shearers looking for work with farmers who have flocks in need of a trim. Finally, we look at Lockdown Learning – a new initiative giving children stuck at home because of coronavirus a taste of the countryside. Simon Haley of EatFa…
Apr 2, 2020
Coronavirus and footpaths, chip shops, livestock markets, & Young Farmers
What is the risk of catching coronavirus from walkers using footpaths across farmland? We find out by talking to Professor Mark Fielder, of Kingston University London, president of the Society of Microbiology. We also look at spring cropping progress with Yorkshire agronomist Patrick Stephenson; discuss the latest dairy market news with Farmers Weekly business editor Suzie Horne; and examine the impact of chip shop closures on potato growers with Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Clarke. The challenges facing the beef and lamb sectors - and livestock markets - are scrutinised with NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle, auctioneer Richard Evans (Welshpool mart) and Andrew Loftus of SellMyLivestock. Finally, young farmers explain how they are delivering food and essential to elderly and vulnerable people in countryside communities - with Sam Oates (Probus YFC); Georgia Betts & Holly White (Workshop YFC). This episode of the Farmers Weekly Podcast is co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporte…