6 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 46 Ratings

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    11/05/21 Northern Ireland climate bill; Hedgerows; Drought resistant forage

    11/05/21 Northern Ireland climate bill; Hedgerows; Drought resistant forage

    Northern Ireland’s first ever climate bill has been debated at Stormont. The UK has committed to new targets in law, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035, but Northern Ireland is the only devolved government not to have its own climate legislation. Could a new private members bill bring drastic changes for farmers there?

    Hedgerow management could play a key part in promoting bio-diversity and tackling climate change. One farmer in Suffolk has been running his own experiment to see how different types of hedge maintenance work on his land.

    Farmers have been struggling with the weather this season - compared to this time last year, it's been very cold - and very dry. Grass hasn't been growing and some farmers are already grazing their cattle on fields meant for next winter's silage. Germinal is developing new kinds of forage - with an emphasis on drought resistance at its research station in Wiltshire.

    Presenter : Anna Hill
    Producer : Rebecca Rooney

    • 13 min
    10/05/21 - Virtual health checks, livestock marts reopening and on-farm trials

    10/05/21 - Virtual health checks, livestock marts reopening and on-farm trials

    Auction marts are beginning to open up - throughout the lockdowns they’ve been operating under strict restrictions. It's impacted on the way they trade, but also hit the other services marts provide for the farming community: from a chat in the cafe to an appointment with a nurse of GP. We hear from one charity in Lincolnshire which is urging agricultural workers to sign up for virtual health checks after almost a thousand appointments were missed there due to COVID.

    Research and Development have become agricultural buzz words. The Government is keen to see productivity in farming rise and new approaches, new technology and innovation are seen as key. Getting something from the idea stage to a practical tool which farmers will adopt is the challenge and this week we’re going to highlight on-farm trials - from new varieties of crop, to robots and new ways of working. We start by hearing from Professor Tim Benton, who chairs Innovative Farmers - a not for profit organisation which brings farmers and researchers together.

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

    • 11 min
    08/05/21 Farming Today This Week

    08/05/21 Farming Today This Week

    We hear about the UK’s potato mountain: more than 20% of last year’s crop is still in storage on farms, as the pandemic and Brexit continue to affect sales.
    The Department of Work and Pensions is working with the National Farmers Union to match up unemployed people with jobs on farms. We speak to Employment Minister, Mims Davies, about how it will work.
    We discuss the EU's latest move on gene editing, and take at look at farm machinery, from robotic weeders to home made kit.
    And how a Belgian farmer accidentally redrew his country’s border with France.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 25 min
    07/05/21 - Potato mountains, vintage farm machinery and farming emus

    07/05/21 - Potato mountains, vintage farm machinery and farming emus

    Its not a great time to be a potato grower - more than 20% of last year’s crop is still in storage on farms, as the pandemic and Brexit continue to affect sales. As we’ve reported, the ban on the export of seed potatoes to the EU has seen many growers having to store the crop - but growers of eating (or ware) potatoes are also facing problems due to the closure of restaurants over lockdowns. The levy body, the AHDB says there are 1.2 millions tonnes of potatoes in storage - nearly 100,000 tons more than is usual at this time of year.

    The appeal of vintage farm machinery is as strong as ever. We hear from a farmer who uses an old 1948 Massey Harris 726 combine harvester to ceremonially mark the end of harvest each year by bringing in the last strip of wheat with her. And from the creator of a social media page focused on UK farming history.

    And, we take a trip to Australia to visit an emu farm. In New South Wales, about 300 miles from Sydney, Phil and Penny Henley keep around 1,200 emus, which they hatch and rear on the farm. They produce emu oil, which is sold for medicinal purpose and used in skin care products.

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

    • 13 min
    06/05/21 - Deer culling in lockdown, gene editing in the EU and DIY farm machinery

    06/05/21 - Deer culling in lockdown, gene editing in the EU and DIY farm machinery

    As lockdown eases venison producers are hoping for an upturn in their fortunes: the closure of pubs and restaurants hit them hard. We hear from one producer whose been sending meat to food charities. Meanwhile, the lack of a market for venison meant many stalkers have stopped culling deer. We find out what that might mean for the deer population this year.

    A report from the European Commission has found EU rules on gene editing and genetic modification are ‘not fit for purpose'. It says that since the legislation was introduced in 2001 the technology has developed, leaving ‘regulatory uncertainty’. Commission is promising a consultation, and any change to the rules could impact trade with the UK.

    And we hear from a farmer who took things into his own hands when the right bit of farm machinery wasn't available.

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

    • 13 min
    05/05/21 - Farm jobs for the unemployed, a green recovery and robot tractors

    05/05/21 - Farm jobs for the unemployed, a green recovery and robot tractors

    Last month, the NFU announced it would be working with the Department for Work and Pensions to match up unemployed people with jobs on farms. After the closure of the Pick for Britain campaign, it’s hoped the scheme would help provide seasonal workers during harvest, and cover some of the placements which might not be filled by workers from the EU. But seasonal work does not appeal everyone - so we ask the Employment Minister, Mims Davies, how this will work.

    A new report commissioned by the environment think tank the Green Alliance says creating a ‘green recovery’ can also be about ‘levelling up’. It finds the Government’s focus on nature restoration and reaching climate targets could create an opportunity for a permanent growth in ‘green jobs’. The report identifies just three areas, woodland creation, saving peatlands and urban parks - as providing more than 16 thousand permanent jobs.

    And we hear about an autonomous robot which could start replacing tractors in fields across the UK.

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

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

tbache9248 ,

Very Educational

I am from the US and really like hearing about problems and solutions. I particularly like to colorful descriptions about the weather, what is being seen, the sounds, wellie boots and all. The recent topic of invasive species was quite interesting. Please keep it up.

Mulligan Hal ,

This is a fun podcast

I listen to this all the time. The stories are interesting, even to someone here in the US. Also helps me understand Britain better.

KidaStar ,

Informative

This is not an exciting podcast. No music. No give-aways. No comedians. This is an informative podcast covering issues facing British farmers. I'm not from the U.K., but I like to listen to their problems and solutions. It gives a broad look at agricultural issues, from the farmer, the shopper, the environmentalist, the legislator. I love listening.

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