This Week in Farming: Designations, driving and retirement

Hello and welcome to another edition of This Week in Farming, your regular round-up of the best that Farmers Weekly has to offer.

Here are five of the best topics we’ve covered this week and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the next edition of the FW podcast.

Designation deluge

Farms will have to become increasingly diverse, nimble and business-focused to cope in a world with diminishing subsidies, but how much freedom will they have to achieve that?

Natural England is slapping more designations such as areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of special scientific interest on fresh areas of land at rapid pace, which will significantly constrain landowners from freedom to farm and diversify, the CLA is fretting.

This all comes as the government seeks to implement a Boris Johnson-era commitment to protect 30% of England by 2030 in order to deliver on targets to improve the environment and biodiversity.

In the livestock section this week, we take a close look at how one Welsh hill farm is benefiting from the addition of a venison enterprise.

Musso or Madonna?

In the facelift stakes, Ssangyong’s Musso may be giving Madonna a run for her money, reports machinery editor Oliver Mark.

He took the Korean pickup for a 1,500 mile trip to put it through its paces and find out if it should be a contender for your next pickup in a market with significantly fewer options than five years ago.

Oliver’s also checked in with the current Farmers Weekly contractor of the year, Martin Hays to see exactly what the award winner has in his shed.

Sound of the Groove Armada

Superstylin’ DJ Andy Cato can still be found behind the decks, but you’ll also find him at the heart of premium grain brand Wildfarmed these days.

We learned how the firm is offering growers a premium for the product in return for an enhanced set of standards.

Grain merchant and inputs behemoth Frontier has also been in the news this week after the firm posted higher revenue and profits for the year ending 30 June 2022.

Lessons from Future Farm Resilience Fund

A Defra scheme that offers free business advice for farmers in England has been running for some time now and has seen more widespread take-up than some had anticipated.

The offer, which is still running, is intended to help farmers prepare for the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme by giving them an honest snapshot of the health of their business.

In this fact-filled piece, business editor Suzie Horne speaks to a number of consultants that have been out on a range of farms over the past months to find out what the common lessons that have emerged so far are.

Also in this week’s business section, check out this handy guide to reclaiming professional fees, such as those arising from compulsory purchase.

Silence in the cowshed

Finally, take a look at this evocative piece from weekly columnist Will Evans who salutes his close friend who recently brought his dairy enterprise to a close.

It got me thinking about how retirement is a tough episode for many folk, but the bottom line is that it’s still a gift that not everyone is lucky enough to receive.

FW podcast

Coming up in this week’s edition of the Farmers Weekly podcast – Johann Tasker returns from holiday for another discussion with Hugh Broom on the latest hot topics in farming.

Listen here or bring us with you in the cab by downloading it from your usual podcast platform.

See more