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PIGS

How a Spanish enrichment system reduces tail biting in pigs

A rotating system of chains which moves hanging pig enrichment material from one pen to another is helping keep tail biting at bay on a Spanish pig farm. At Rosa…

SUGAR BEET

Multi-annual contracts set to return for sugar beet

Sugar beet growers are expected to be offered multi-annual contracts for the 2020-21 crop – one year after they were withdrawn by British Sugar. British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward…

TECHNOLOGY

Spot-spraying system could save millions on herbicides

A new weed-seeking camera system on Agrifac’s Condor sprayers is able to detect unwanted plants in growing wheat crops before administering a targeted jet of chemical to wipe them out.…

SHEEP

Scops seeking sheep farmer to become chair elect

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (Scops) group is on the hunt for an active sheep farmer to fulfil the position of a chair elect. The candidate will help…

NEWS

Opinion: Time to join the Monster Raving Loony Party?

It seems you can’t have an opinion on Brexit. Instead, you have to have a cast iron, line drawn in the sand, position. Either for, or against. Well I’m the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The pros and cons of winter cover crops

We have now experienced five dry seasons in a row, with this one being the worst by far. I live in the summer rainfall area of South Africa, but this…

BREXIT

NFU19: Food tariffs to protect farmers in no-deal Brexit

Tariffs and quotas will be imposed on food imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit to protect British farmers, the government has announced. But producers also face the prospect…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Competition watchdog ‘devastates’ Asda-Sainsbury’s merger

The proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s has been “devastated” by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), after it raised concerns about the effect on UK consumers and suppliers. The…

MILK PRICES

Arla holds March milk price and splits profits with farmers

Dairy co-op Arla Foods has confirmed the March milk price for its farmer-owners will remain unchanged on the back of stable European commodity markets. Producers will receive 30.24p/litre for manufacturing…

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Opinion

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NEWS

Opinion: Time to join the Monster Raving Loony Party?

It seems you can’t have an opinion on Brexit. Instead, you have to have a cast iron, line drawn in the sand, position. Either for, or against. Well I’m the…

NEWS

Opinion: Never too old to start a new farm diversification

In May this year (if I’m spared) I will celebrate my 59th birthday. I’m reliably informed that I will then be the average age of a farmworker in the UK.  …

NEWS

Opinion: Weather woes add to Brexit blues for farming

It’s been a dry autumn and winter here in East Anglia and across much of the UK as well. On the one hand it has enabled autumn work on the…

NEWS

Opinion: Approaches to tillage – zealots on both sides

In the 1990s, as a keen young man who thought he knew it all, I persuaded my father to buy a direct drill. Dad was sceptical. He had been there…

NFU CONFERENCE

NFU19: Gove reaffirms pledge to protect UK food standards

Defra secretary Michael Gove has reaffirmed his pledge to protect British farm standards after the UK leaves the European Union. Speaking at the NFU annual conference, Mr Gove said the…

BREXIT

UK government 'feckless and reckless', Ewing tells Gove

The UK government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations and its refusal to take the “no-deal” option off the table is both “feckless and reckless” – and will cause substantial damage…

NFU CONFERENCE

NFU19: Food production must be priority, government told

Farm leaders have warned the government that domestic food production must be a strategic priority at what is a critical time in British history. The warning is contained in a…

BREXIT

Gambling with farmers’ livelihoods is reckless, warns Ewing

The UK government must be held accountable for any losses incurred by farm businesses in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Scotland’s agriculture secretary has said. Fergus Ewing, the Scottish…

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Arable

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SUGAR BEET

Multi-annual contracts set to return for sugar beet

Sugar beet growers are expected to be offered multi-annual contracts for the 2020-21 crop – one year after they were withdrawn by British Sugar. British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The pros and cons of winter cover crops

We have now experienced five dry seasons in a row, with this one being the worst by far. I live in the summer rainfall area of South Africa, but this…

POTATOES

New potato app helps with crop management and yield data

A new potato-specific smartphone app has been developed to help growers improve crop management and marketing decisions right through the supply chain. Developed by the Peterborough-based potato supplier Greenvale AP,…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Boron shortage an increasing problem in wheat crops

An increasing proportion of wheat crops being tested are deficient in boron, which could be costing farmers lost grain yield. Boron is a key nutrient that affects flower development and…

PULSES

Staffs grower looks to produce beans for fish food

Staffordshire farmer Rob Atkin is looking to grow spring beans this season on a new contract that will give him a premium price for his crop, as it is intended…

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

Warburtons wheat helps grower cope with Brexit uncertainty

A group of British farmers is growing milling wheat for the domestic bread maker Warburtons, earning a decent price premium and helping to insulate themselves from the worries surrounding Brexit.…

COVER CROPS

How a Dorset farmer grows cost-effective cover crops

Dorset grower John Martin, together with Kings Seeds, has designed his own cover crop mix, which provides the maximum benefit to his calcareous soils while also being cost-effective. He was…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: How does mob grazing affect nutrients?

I have read the Farmer Focus columns for many years so was proud to be asked in December if I wanted to try my hand! So here goes. The snow…

Livestock

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PIGS

How a Spanish enrichment system reduces tail biting in pigs

A rotating system of chains which moves hanging pig enrichment material from one pen to another is helping keep tail biting at bay on a Spanish pig farm. At Rosa…

SHEEP

Scops seeking sheep farmer to become chair elect

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (Scops) group is on the hunt for an active sheep farmer to fulfil the position of a chair elect. The candidate will help…

TAKING STOCK

Charolais lead the spring trade at Stirling

Charolais topped breed averages and clearance rates at Stirling bull sales this week (Tuesday 19 February). Altogether, 121 bulls averaged £6,063 and sold to the highest 83.5% clearance of the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Veganuary did our profits wonders

What a January it was. We beat our January turnover from last year by a country mile - I must thank the vegan campaign. It was refreshing to hear so…

TAKING STOCK

Stirling bull sales: 18 Salers bulls top at 6,500gns

Salers bulls topped 6,500gns at Stirling on Monday (18 February) with 18 bulls selling to a clearance rate of 72% to average £3,529, back on the year by £349. The top…

BOVINE TB

NFU19: Wales urged to follow England’s badger cull model

The head of Wales’ biggest farming union is calling on the Welsh government to work together with farmers to battle the ongoing misery of bovine TB – and adopt the…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

What changes are Holstein UK making to type classification?

Four new traits have been introduced to Holstein UK’s type classification service. Previously, classifiers scored cows on four composite areas covering 21 linear type traits (see "Old scoring system" below).…

TAKING STOCK

Tough day as Simmentals see 63% clearance

A challenging day’s trading saw both numbers and averages back in the Simmental ring at Stirling on Monday (18 February). Averages dropped for the second consecutive February sale, falling £502 to…

Machinery

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TECHNOLOGY

Spot-spraying system could save millions on herbicides

A new weed-seeking camera system on Agrifac’s Condor sprayers is able to detect unwanted plants in growing wheat crops before administering a targeted jet of chemical to wipe them out.…

MACHINERY

Pronar launches 22t half-pipe dump trailer

Pronar has launched a half-pipe dump trailer for use in both agriculture and construction, that looks similar to units hauled around by artic lorries. See also: 10 tips to keep…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: Wood-fuelled tractors

It might sound a bit wacky, but tractors have the potential to be powered by wood – as proven by several farming inventions over the years. The tractor fuel produced…

TRAILERS

Horsch adds two lorry-mounted haulage kits

Horsch has added two lorry-mounted haulage kits to its logistics range – one for shifting seed and granular fertiliser and another for moving liquids. The two new units join the…

Community

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FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The pros and cons of winter cover crops

We have now experienced five dry seasons in a row, with this one being the worst by far. I live in the summer rainfall area of South Africa, but this…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Veganuary did our profits wonders

What a January it was. We beat our January turnover from last year by a country mile - I must thank the vegan campaign. It was refreshing to hear so…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: How does mob grazing affect nutrients?

I have read the Farmer Focus columns for many years so was proud to be asked in December if I wanted to try my hand! So here goes. The snow…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Fears over pig prices fall and high feed costs

The pig job is starting to get seriously worrying. We have had well over a year of falling pig prices and feed prices have moved in the opposite direction. As…

Business

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SUGAR BEET

Multi-annual contracts set to return for sugar beet

Sugar beet growers are expected to be offered multi-annual contracts for the 2020-21 crop – one year after they were withdrawn by British Sugar. British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Competition watchdog ‘devastates’ Asda-Sainsbury’s merger

The proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s has been “devastated” by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), after it raised concerns about the effect on UK consumers and suppliers. The…

MILK PRICES

Arla holds March milk price and splits profits with farmers

Dairy co-op Arla Foods has confirmed the March milk price for its farmer-owners will remain unchanged on the back of stable European commodity markets. Producers will receive 30.24p/litre for manufacturing…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

Countryside Stewardship – tips for 2019 scheme

Key elements of England's Countryside Stewardship opened for applications this week. Alice De Soer at the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) explains what’s new and gives tips on applying.…

LAND MARKETS

More than 20% of Staffordshire county farms estate for sale

More than 20% of Staffordshire County Council’s farms estate, comprising 688ha and 16 let farm holdings, is set to be sold off. All the council's farm tenants were notified of…

GRANTS

‘Mismanaged’ RPA-run grant scheme costs farmers thousands

An RPA-run countryside productivity grant scheme has seen farmers’ expensive and time-consuming applications rejected out of hand, with no evidence of achieving best value for public money, an agricultural consultant has…

BUSINESS

Final year of unfettered EU access sees cheese export record

UK cheese export tonnage hit record highs as strong growth both inside and out of the EU saw more British cheese shipped overseas in 2018. Exports of British Cheddar, Stilton…

BUSINESS

How farming has changed since it was last outside the EU

It’s hard to predict what the future holds for the agricultural industry, as the clock ticks down to the UK leaving the European Union. Assuming that the UK does actually…

GRANTS

£1m Scots fund opens for large-scale biodiversity projects

Scottish Natural Heritage is offering funds for ambitious and innovative ideas to improve habits, safeguard species and encourage increased access to nature. The first year of the Biodiversity Challenge Fund…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES

CSS application window opens with simpler process promised

The 2019 Countryside Stewardship (CS) Scheme is open for applications in England, with the government claiming to have taken further steps to make the scheme less bureaucratic. Improvements for 2019…

LAND MARKETS

Agricultural land values to hit five-year low

The average value of bare agricultural land in England fell by 3% to a five-year low of £6,970/acre in 2018. This is according to Knight Frank’s Farmland Index results for…

BREXIT

Defra pledges sheep sector cash in event of no-deal Brexit

Sheep farmers have been assured of financial support from the government in the event of a no-deal Brexit which would cause a dramatic decline in the value of lamb. The…

Futures prices

Updated every 15 minutes
Month Price Change
Mar '19 162.55 2.45
May '19 164.35 2.45
Jul '19 166.30 1.85
Nov '19 148.00 1.25
Jan '20 150.50 1.25
Mar '20 152.40 1.25
May '20 153.85 1.25
Jul '20 160.65 0.95

Careers

CAREERS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ag universities hit back at 'flawed' earnings report

Agricultural universities and departments have hit back at a report that recommends steering students away from "low earnings" degree subjects, including agriculture. Titled, A question of degree, the report from…

CAREERS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Job profile: What’s it like to be a seeds sales manager?

If you have got a passion for crops and want to be on the front line of variety developments then a job as a seed product manager could be the…

CAREERS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Job profile: What’s it like to be a sprayer operator?

If you love the sound of being behind the wheel of the latest big kit, have an eye for detail and a passion for precision, then a job working as…

YOUNG FARMERS

Video: Two first-time young farmers one year on

The first year of farming brings with it a huge learning curve and a number of challenges, but the feeling of achievement is unparalleled. Two farmers share how they have…