23 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC Radio 4

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 270 Ratings

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    28/11/2022: The application of science in farming, food in Wales and equine business

    28/11/2022: The application of science in farming, food in Wales and equine business

    There should be a national body to deliver science more quickly to farmers - that’s the conclusion of a report looking at ways to boost productivity and innovation on UK farms. The Application of Science Report says the current system is too fragmented and the UK is falling behind other countries. Lord Curry of Kirkharle who chaired the working group behind the report tells Charlotte Smith that there is an urgent need for farms to boost productivity.

    Farmers, food producers and campaigners have been discussing a better food system for Wales. Farming Today has a report.

    And we begin a week looking at all things equine, hearing how the cost of living crisis and the spiralling cost of keeping a horse, is making life difficult for owners of riding schools and stables.

    Presenter: Charlotte Smith
    Producer: Alun Beach
    Editor: Dimitri Houtart

    • 11 min
    26/11/22 - The eggs shortage, seasonal workers and game shooting

    26/11/22 - The eggs shortage, seasonal workers and game shooting

    The difficulties in the egg supply chain continue, with some supermarkets rationing eggs while others import them from Europe. The British Retail Consortium has been saying avian flu is disrupting supply - but farmers say it's because egg producers are losing money on every egg they sell. They say the cost of the ingredients for feed alone has risen by 90% since 2019 - while they're being paid only 35% more. As a result, many are reducing the number of hens they have or even pausing production entirely. The NFU is calling for Government intervention.

    It's not just the cost of producing eggs that's rising - a report from consultants, Promar International, says the cost of producing fruit and veg in the UK is up by 27% year on year. We hear from one farmer who is concerned about his labour costs for next year. The National Living Wage will be increased from April, and it's not yet clear what that will mean for seasonal workers here on temporary visas, who this year had to be paid above the minimum wage.

    And the Scottish Government is consulting on plans to introduce licences for grouse moors. Under the proposals - which follow a string of illegal killings of birds of prey - there would be new rules on muirburn, or heather burning. We hear from campaigners who want reform, and visit one grouse moor to discuss the future of the industry.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

    • 25 min
    25/11/2022: Grouse shooting, forestry and farming in Greenland

    25/11/2022: Grouse shooting, forestry and farming in Greenland

    The Scottish government is currently consulting on plans to introduce licences for grouse moors, Farming today hears from people working on an estate in Perthshire, and Charlotte Smith talks to Max Wiszniewski of Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform.

    The UK government should think more about timber when promoting tree planting in England according to a new report, which points out that the UK imports 80 per cent of the timber it uses and that only Scotland of the home nations is near reaching government tree planting targets.

    And it may be tough raising sheep in remote parts of Scotland or Wales, but imagine trying to do it in Greenland.

    Presenter: Charlotte Smith
    Producer: Alun Beach
    Editor: Dimitri Houtart

    • 13 min
    24/11/22 - Charlotte Smith speaks to the farming minister, Mark Spencer

    24/11/22 - Charlotte Smith speaks to the farming minister, Mark Spencer

    The Farming Minister, Mark Spencer, tells us the Government won't be intervening in the current dispute between egg producers and their customers - although he will be having 'robust conversations' with retailers. The comments were made as part of a wide ranging interview with Charlotte Smith, which also touches on avian flu, seasonal labour, the future of ELMs and funding for slurry storage.

    And we visit a gunsmiths, where apprentices are being trained to make collectors' items.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith
    Producer for BBC Audio by Heather Simons

    • 13 min
    23/11/22 - Support for egg farmers, concerns around shooting and sheep on a boat!

    23/11/22 - Support for egg farmers, concerns around shooting and sheep on a boat!

    The National Farmers Union is asking the government for an urgent investigation into the egg market, saying there should be support for egg farmers who are facing a huge rise in the cost of production which is not being met by the prices they're paid. Some supermarkets are now limiting how many eggs customers can buy, while others import eggs from the rest of Europe.

    According to the RSPB's annual bird crime report, there were 108 confirmed incidents of persecution of birds of prey recorded in 2021, and more than two thirds were connected to land managed for gamebirds. So what needs to change?

    And we join a small flock of sheep on a journey out into the Bristol Channel to Flat Holm island, where they will start a new life as conservation grazers.

    Presented by Anna Hill
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

    • 13 min
    22/11/22 - A shortage of daffodil pickers, pheasant shooting and tidal power in The Wash

    22/11/22 - A shortage of daffodil pickers, pheasant shooting and tidal power in The Wash

    Flower growers in Cornwall are warning that they'll have to leave crop to rot in January, because there won't be enough people to pick it. This year, for the first time, they were able to get seasonal staff via the Temporary Workers visa - there were 38,000 of these 6 month visas which allow workers from abroad to come onto farms, and a further 2,000 visas for poultry staff. But next year flower growers say the visa scheme will open too late for the early Cornish season, where harvest starts straight after New Year.

    An updated risk assessment of the impact game bird releases have on avian flu in wild and kept birds, is being launched by the Government's Animal and Plant Health Agency. The review has been jointly commissioned by DEFRA, and the Welsh and Scottish Governments. At the moment in England, all captive birds must be kept housed, but under the rules, once game birds have been released, they are classed as wild birds so don't have to be shut inside. Tens of millions of young pheasants are raised every year and released into the wild for driven shoots, across the UK.

    And plans have been unveiled for an 11 mile-long tidal barrier across the Lincolnshire/Norfolk Wash. The two billion pound proposal includes a container port and renewable energy schemes and claims it could create thousands of jobs. But conservationists have raised concerns about its potential impact on habitat for birds and marine life, in a designated Special Area of Conservation.

    Presented by Anna Hill
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
270 Ratings

270 Ratings

Be cat ,

Short and Factual

Great little 15mins catch up and updates - a key listen for farmers and surveyors

bobski 123 ,

Bobski

Excellent Programme

grass man 01 ,

Disgraceful

Waste of time worst than countryfile needs more talk about agriculture and farm livestock

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