Farming TodayAuthor: BBC Radio 4
22 Feb 2019

Farming Today

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The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

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    Sugar beet and public health, seasonal agricultural labour and conservation farming

    Research from Public Health England suggests many of us consume nearly 3 times the recommended amount of sugar ...but is the solution, just to GROW less sugar beet in the UK? That's the idea being proposed in a new report, which suggests removing subsidy payments for land used to grow sugar beet...and instead, use the money to encourage farmers to choose a different, healthier crop. It also proposes bringing back quotas for growing sugar beet, and managing the price paid for sugar. The British horticultural sector relies heavily on the EU for its workforce: of the 80,000 seasonal workers required each year to harvest fruit and veg in the UK, an estimated 75% are from Romania and Bulgaria. Last year, the government announced a pilot scheme starting in Spring this year, allowing 2,500 migrant workers from outside the EU to come and work on UK farms for up to six months. But will that be enough? And our reporter visits a group of fifty farmers in Northern Ireland, who've come together to manage a sizeable stretch of Lough Neagh's shoreline for the benefit of wildlife. They've signed up to a conservation scheme that pays them hundreds of pounds per hectare...to improve habitats for breeding waders like snipe and curlew. Presented by Anna Hill Produced by Heather Simons

  • Posted on 21 Feb 2019

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    National Farmers' Union Conference

    DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove told the National Farmers' Union Conference to expect an announcement imminently about what tariffs the UK will place on food imports in the case of a No Deal. In the meantime, he said they will provide specific and robust protection for farmers. We hear from him and the President of the Union, Minette Batters, about the potential impacts of Brexit on agriculture. The Conference also addressed the issues of eating trends and how supermarkets supply what people want. Anna Hill speaks to Sainsbury’s Director of Brand, Judith Batchelar, and Nathan Ward from the market data firm Kantar Worldpanel. And, our reporter visits an organic farm, to find out about the impact of a potential No Deal for organic labeling and international trade. Presented by Anna Hill Produced by Lucy Taylor

  • Posted on 20 Feb 2019

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    Study compares greenhouse gas emissions from lab grown meat with meat from farms

    Meat grown in a laboratory is often talked about as a potential solution to producing food with a lower environmental impact than raising animals. A new study has looked at both systems to compare the amount of greenhouse gases they produce, and the findings are not clear-cut. All this week we are talking Brexit and agriculture and despite the uncertainty, a cheese producer in Somerset is still making plans to grow his business. And in one part of Wiltshire, a traditional way of encouraging new pasture and warming up the land involves flooding it with river water. It's called drowning the meadows. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • Posted on 19 Feb 2019

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    Balancing farming and the Environment, flood defence, trade post Brexit

    How to balance protecting the environment with the need to feed a growing population is the conundrum facing UK agriculture today. Sybil hears from Oxford University’s Dieter Helm, an expert in climate change, biodiversity and agriculture. We report on a tree planting pilot scheme in Nottinghamshire aimed at reducing flooding. With six weeks to go until Brexit deadline day - the country's biggest pork producer is calling for more government help to set up trade deals with the EU and other countries to prevent a big bump in business post Brexit. Presented by Sybil Ruscoe Produced by Alun Beach.

  • Posted on 18 Feb 2019

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    Farming Today This Week: City Farms

    Sybil Ruscoe visits Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol to find out how they make ends meet after years of public funding cuts. She meets adults who volunteer on the farm to improve their mental health and hears how a day nursery helps fund the rest of the farm. We also have reports from city farms across the rest of the UK: in Gloucester, inner-city kids are learning to ride... in London, livestock have been moved to make way for Crossrail... and in Cardiff, one boy's life has been changed forever. Presented by Sybil Ruscoe Produced by Heather Simons

  • Posted on 16 Feb 2019

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