Crops arable website guide: Organisations

cropsCrops magazine has picked a selection of the key websites from various organisations and given its opinions (good and bad) on everything from their content, layout and ease of use.
Agricultural Industries Confederation. AIC assurance scheme info, plus members only area.
British Crop Protection Council news, events, conference abstracts. The online bookshop is the best feature for virtually any crop protection related publication. Free demos available for some of the CDs.
News, government policy issues, membership details and events from the Country Land and Business Association.
Site of the Crop Protection Association, providing news, members list, pesticide legislation info and CPA publications. Download the latest ‘Crop Saver’ newsletter.
A huge amount of information can make this an unwieldy site, so finding things can be the hardest part. Latest news is good for keeping track of policy developments and the CAP Reform section may prove invaluable in the coming months. Be warned, you’d better bookmark useful pages when you find them, as they might not be seen again!

Well laid out site with details on regulations, licences and guidance for the agricultural sector within Net Regs. Search the flood map to see if your postcode area is at risk from flooding.
A variety of agricultural policy info from across the EU can make this site quite dry. But its all useful stuff, so search for specific legal texts or documents for that light bedtime reading! The A-Z is useful if you are unsure of where to start looking for specific items.
Campaigning for the future of family farms. Latest news and how to get involved – the site is run by farmers for farmers. Some useful weblinks not found on many other sites.
Registration allows you to access all the government services available online e.g. IACS area aid, seed certification, VAT returns, etc. Well laid out, with clear explanations of where to go and what to do. Secure connection gives you a unique ID to use on all government gateway services.

More of the site is now aimed at providing free information to levy payers and subscribers in a clear and easy to use format. Features include a market data centre (prices updated daily), practical topic sheets, variety data (which many other sites link into), useful statistics, cereals and oilseeds market data and e-mail bulletins for subscribers.
Health & Safety Executive’s straightforward site for the latest H&S policy. Download HSE documents on anything from the safe use of pesticides to controlling grain dust on farm.

National Association of Agricultural Contractors. Search for a contractor by county or type of work. View the NAAC codes of practice, insurance they offer and how to join. A new situations vacant section has just been added.
Latest news, policy work, campaigns, membership details and events from the National Farmers Union. A large amount of information is aimed at educating the public about agriculture. Also a dedicated area for NFU members.
National Proficiency Tests Council. Excellent info source for available courses and venues. Search over 750 assessment centres across the UK to see what courses they offer.
Pesticides Safety Directorate – an Executive agency of DEFRA. Everything from pesticide legislation to understanding product labels, SOLAs and LERAPs is covered in the farmers and growers section.
The Rural Payments Agency is the single paying agency for CAP schemes in England (some in Scotland). A good source for pulling together MTR related articles. Keep up to date with scheme dates and changes in the news section.
Rural Stress Information Network. A useful map of regional RSIN contacts, latest news and a helpful links section.

Soil and Water Protection site. A collaborative project involving industry, NGOs and farmers looking at reducing soil erosion, pesticide and fertiliser runoff. Site outlines the project and findings when available. Can be a bit too wordy.
Information and advice for farmers looking to go organic. Members can access more detailed technical info in the dedicated section. Clear and easy to use site, with a library of online forms from pest and disease control to crop record sheets.
Practical advice on running and improving a business. Download guides on topics such as effective staff management and applying for funding. Not aimed directly at agriculture, but concepts may be useful.

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