5 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC

    • Science

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    21/10/21 Agriculture in the Government's Net Zero Strategy and COP26, apple pickers and storage

    21/10/21 Agriculture in the Government's Net Zero Strategy and COP26, apple pickers and storage

    As MPs throw out Lords' amendments to the Environment Bill and the Government's Net Zero Strategy looks thin on farming content, we ask will agriculture get the attention it deserves at COP26.
    We're talking apples all this week and today we hear from a farmer who's turned to family, friends and Facebook this year to find pickers, and hear how growers store their fruit, chilled for up to a year.

    Presented by Caz Graham and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 13 min
    20/10/21 Nitrogen fixing peas, rural post offices, deer collisions, cider apples

    20/10/21 Nitrogen fixing peas, rural post offices, deer collisions, cider apples

    Artificial fertiliser prices are at an all time high - so farmers are being encouraged to use the power of nitrogen-fixing plants such as peas and beans. They take nitrogen from the air in the soil and fix it in nodules on their roots to feed to the plant.
    It’s a week till the Chancellor announces his spending review and campaign groups have written asking for support for rural post offices to continue. The Government currently provides a £50 million subsidy to support 4,000 post offices including 3,000 rural branches. But the subsidy is due to end in March 2022, and rural groups are asking for an extension.
    Countryside rangers are warning that herds of deer are more likely to be moving across roads during rutting season.
    All this week we’re talking about apples. Today we hear from a third generation cider and perry maker in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

    Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 13 min
    19/10/21 Calls for unused poultry visas to be reallocated to red meat, labour shortage for apple harvest

    19/10/21 Calls for unused poultry visas to be reallocated to red meat, labour shortage for apple harvest

    A third of temporary visas for turkey workers is still unallocated - we hear calls for them to be reallocated to the red meat sector.
    We hear why the poultry industry want the temporary visa scheme to be agreed again for next Christmas.
    Labour concerns are still current in the fruit industry too. All week we’re talking about apples: it’s the height of harvest now and compared to 2020, picking time at in Gloucestershire is two weeks later.

    Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 13 min
    18/10/21 - Attracting new butchers, Small abattoirs, Apple harvest

    18/10/21 - Attracting new butchers, Small abattoirs, Apple harvest

    Abattoirs and meat processing plants say they have around 1,500 vacancies, and the Government’s announcement of 800 6-month visas to allow butchers from abroad to work here is only a temporary solution. What will work in the longer term? Charlotte Smith talks to Simon Taylor from Surrey Hills Butchers, who's captain of the UK Butchery Team!

    In recent years, many small and medium sized abattoirs have closed and there are concerns more may follow. Gareth Barlow, himself a former slaughter man, reports on warnings that if more smaller meat-processing units are lost, there may be significant consequences for rural economies.

    And it’s harvest time in apple orchards across the country - but it's been a difficult year with weather and labour challenges.

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

    • 11 min
    16/10/21 Temporary visas for foreign butchers, science in agriculture, huntsman found guilty of encouraging illegal fox hunting

    16/10/21 Temporary visas for foreign butchers, science in agriculture, huntsman found guilty of encouraging illegal fox hunting

    We hear reaction to the Government's solution to the current problems facing pig farmers: 6 month visas for foreign butchers. Farming unions had called for a 12 month 'Covid recovery visa' to allow more workers from abroad into jobs in the food supply chain, or for the Government to relax language rules for foreign butchers working here, but all that was rejected in favour of temporary visas.

    This week Radio 4 dedicated a day to the scientist. As part of that Anna Hill went to the Research Park in Norwich to hear about the latest in agri-science innovations.

    The National Trust and Forestry Commission say they are considering what to do with the bans on trail hunting on their land, following the conviction of the Director of the Master of Foxhounds Association for encouraging and assisting people to evade the ban on fox hunting.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 24 min

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