Farming TodayAuthor: BBC Radio 4
14 Nov 2018

Farming Today

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The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

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    Crops for biofuel, lifting sugar beet, the Scottish Rural Parliament and traditional herring fishing.

    At the moment a significant proportion of Oil Seed Rape and Feed Wheat grown in the UK is used to produce biofuels to add to fossil fuels for cars. But, the European Parliament decided yesterday to reduce the use of biofuels from food crops, phasing them out completely by 2030 in favour of biofuels from waste. So what will this mean for farmers currently growing the crops? Also, our reporter joins the sugar beet lifting campaign in Yorkshire, atop a machine worth nearly half a million pounds. The Scottish Rural Parliament meets to discuss the impact of Brexit on remote communities. And we're out on the water, hearing how traditional herring fishing in Northern Ireland is being kept alive by hobbyists. Presented by Anna Hill. Produced by Heather Simons

  • Posted on 14 Nov 2018

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    Bovine TB Strategy Review, Sugar Beet and Soil Health

    A new report says badger culling is making a "modest but real" difference to the spread of bovine TB, but that farmers should be doing more to prevent cattle spreading the disease. We hear from the author of the report, Professor Sir Charles Godfray, and from Professor Rosie Woodroffe, of the Institute of Zoology. All this week we're talking about sugar beet. One family farm decided ten years ago to stop growing sugar beet altogether, because harvesting it on their heavy land in the winter time was causing serious long-term damage to the soil. But now, over years with a lot of care, Ed Salmon has managed to restore the soil to health. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

  • Posted on 13 Nov 2018

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    Vaccines and antibiotics; Dartmoor sheep gather; Sugar beet campaign

    Vaccines could replace some antibiotics used in farming, according to a report to be released this week. Concerns that farming practices were contributing to the growth of antibiotic resistant bugs led to a drive to reduce their use, and sales of farm antibiotics have fallen 40% over the past five years, but Charlotte hears there is room for improvement. The traditional annual "sheep gather" has begun on Dartmoor. Every year the sheep are taken off the moor for at least two weeks and this year the public and our reporter were invited along. Half the sugar we use here in the UK is home grown, and the annual sugar beet harvesting campaign is now reaching its climax. To start a week focussing on this industry the head of sugar at the NFU explains how the sector works. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Alun Beach.

  • Posted on 12 Nov 2018

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    Future Farming

    What will farming look like in the 22nd century? In this programme, Charlotte Smith visits an aquaponics farm in Somerset, to gaze into her agricultural crystal ball and talk about some of the methods we may use to produce food in the future. We also hear from a vertical farm in Scotland, a field trial using robots, and a floating dairy farm in the Netherlands. Producer: Emma Campbell

  • Posted on 10 Nov 2018

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    New Rules for Fish Farms, A Floating Dairy Farm and More land for British vineyards.

    Some Scottish salmon farms could close because of tough new rules being proposed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. After conducting a major study, Sepa wants to reduce the amount of liquid medicines, animal waste and uneaten food from fish farms which it says damage the marine environment. But will it be enough for environmental campaigners? Charlotte Smith speaks to a pioneering farmer in the Netherlands...who's building a floating dairy farm! We hear about the Cornish fishermen who risked their lives during the First World War, searching at sea for explosives laid in British shipping lanes. And, new research suggests large areas of England and Wales could be suitable for growing vines...opening to the door for expansion of our homegrown wine industry.

  • Posted on 09 Nov 2018

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