Rural Matters

Shadow Defra Secretary says sale of council farms is 'short sighted'.

9th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Shadow Defra Secretary, Mary Creagh, told journalists at the Oxford Farming Conference that the decision by a number of county coucils to sell off their starter farms will have a massive knock-on-effect on the industry.

“What I am worried about is because of the current financial crisis and the huge cut that has been hoisted onto councils by central Government, it is forcing councils to take short term decisions that will have a long term impact on agriculture in this country,”...

Badger culls will not be kept secret.

5th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

According to the Farmers Guardian Jim Paice has warned farmers planning to sign up sign up to local badger cull policies in England that there is virtually no prospect the areas will be kept secret.

The NFU and National Beef Association are in ongoing discussions with Natural England to ensure as little information as possible is released about the precise location of the areas where culling will take place.

Natural England will be responsible for issuing badger cull...

High Court rules in favour of solar campaigners

4th JanuaryPosted by Mike Taylor

The High Court has held that the Government's actions in setting a cut-off date for new Feed-in Tariff rates before a consultation on the proposals had closed were potentially illegal, thus clearing the way for a potential judicial review of the process.


NFU condemns proposals to sell off council farms in Cheshire.

4th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The Farmers Weekly reports that the NFU have reacted strongly to proposals to sell off county council-owned farms in Cheshire.  Union deputy president Meurig Raymond wrote to Cheshire West and Chester Council to express regret at the County's plan to sell 47 farms from its estate.

“The decision is bad news. Council holdings occupy a unique position in the tenanted sector. They provide an opportunity for people to enter the land-based economy who would not be able to do so, as...

Spelman puts badger cull 'ball' in farmers court.

4th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Alistair Driver (Farmers Guardian) reports that the farming industry has welcomed Defra's decision to sanction two pilot badger culls this year but he fears that concerns remain.  Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman has effectively said 'over to you' when she confirmed the decision to allow two pilot culls to take place in England in 2012.

From hereon in, the success of the policy, give or take the odd legal challenge, will largely be down to the willingness of farmers in the selected...

Paice reiterates support to agri-environment schemes

22nd DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

A report in the  Farmers Guardian says that Jim Paice has reiterated Defra's commitment to agri-environment schemes in light of the uncertainty surrounding their future.

Mr Paice acknowledged that schemes like Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) will have to be altered under Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform plans.

In a letter to the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE), he said the full impact of moves to attach ‘greening’ conditions to direct payments in Pillar One...

Diversification of a different kind!

20th DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

The Farmers Guardian reports that an Essex farmer is turning concrete and rubble into useful hardcore, having invested in a compact crusher to repair farm tracks and help avoid costly material disposal.

Looking for an opportunity to supplement income from the 120ha (300 acre) family farm at Dunmow, Essex, Josh Askew turned his attention to unwanted concrete and rubble.

“I saw a mini crushing machine at a show, and it was one of those eureka...

Collaboration is essential for a sustainable food chain.

20th DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

SCIENTISTS farmers, businesses, retailers and policy-makers from across the agri-food sector are backing a co-ordinated industry approach to ensure a sustainable and efficient UK food supply chain.

It follows the Centre of Excellence for UK Farming (CEUKF) inaugural conference, where delegates from industry, academia and Government debated how the UK could become the best place to produce safe and nutritious food - against the backdrop of global...

Badger cull is the way forward.

20th DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

The National Beef Association has said that the proposed badger cull is a 'major step forward' in the on-going fight against bovine TB.  Chairman Hamish McBean said badger populations had 'exploded' in many parts of the UK and it would be 'impossible' for the cattle industry to get a grip of TB without looking at the wildlife element as well.

“Farmers want to see badgers on their farm and the NBA believes these control measures will ensure those badgers are healthy, which will also...

Welsh come under fire as they delay TB programme.

7th DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

THE Welsh Government has come under fire following an admission by First Minister, Carwyn Jones, that an announcement on the next phase of its bovine TB eradication programme will not be made until the early months of next year.

The admission comes despite a previous statement by Environment Minister, John Griffiths, to expect a decision before Christmas and repeated calls by the farming unions for urgent action to allow Welsh farmers to plan...


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