Rural Matters

NFU calls on farmers to have their say about agriculture apprenticeships.

7th FebruaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The NFU is calling on farmers to say what they think about the need for apprenticeships in agriculture.

This week is the start of Apprenticeship Week, an initiative backed by the industry-led AgriSkills Forum to promote skills and careers for young people in farming.  The NFU has set up on online survey to coincide with the week of acitivities across England and Wales and has urged farming business to take part.

A previous survey, carried out by land-based training body Lantra...

Environment Agency put flood warning in place for parts of Shropshire

7th FebruaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The Environment Agency have put flood warnings in place in parts of Shropshire after the weekend saw some of the worst flooding to hit the county border in more than 40 years.  More than four inches of rain fell overnight on Saturday, leading to water levels on the River Vyrnwy and upper parts of the River Severn rising by several metres in the space of hours.

Environment Agency officials have claimed the floods are the worst on record since 1969. 

In Shropshire flood warnings...

Quarter of dairy farmers in England are unsure of NVZ status.

28th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Reports in the Farmers Guardian suggest that 1 in 4 dairy farmers in England are still unsure of their NVZ status and more than half have insufficient slurry storage to meet the requirements of the new rules.

With just under a year before the new rules are due to come into place, a survey conducted by the NFU revealed some shocking statistics about farmers' preparations.

The survey is due to be published next week and gathered responses from 150 dairy farmers.  It reveals that...

Dairy hygiene inspections to be reduced to save money.

27th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Reports in the Farmers Weekly suggest that diary hygiene inspections could be cut to once in 10 years in England and Wales as part of plans to slash £1.2m in the cost of carrying out the checks.

The proposals by the Food Standards Agency suggest that from April this year official Animal Health Dairy Hygiene Inspections on Red Tracto assured dairy farms will be cut by 90% to once every 10 years.

Non assured farms will be inspected every 2 years.  The plans, under consultation...

Leaders say CAP must make farming 'greener'.

27th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

European farm leaders have agreed that The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must encourage farming to become 'greener' in order to guarantee sustainable food supplies.

At an EU farm council meeting in Brussels on Monday, agriculture ministers and officials said a "greening" element of the CAP was vital to ensure natural resources were properly managed.  However they were unable to agree on how a mandatory environmental element should be introduced to direct support payments (Pillar 1...

Government plans to sell of forests causes anger.

27th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The Government's announcement toady that it will publish its consultation on selling off tracts of publicly-owned forests in England has resulted in angry outbursts from campaigners.

The Archbisphop of Canterbury, Dame Judi Dench and Bill Bryson are among angry campaigners who have signed a letter declaring the sale as "unconscionable".

The plan could lead to the sale of all land in England owned by the Forestry Cojmmission but the Government, however, says that nature and...

Septic tanks must be registered by 1st Jan 2012.

26th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Under new regulations all discharge from septic tanks must be registered with the Environment Agency by 1st January 2012.

You must have a permit or authorisation from your environmental regulator before you discharge anything other than clean, uncontaminated run-off to surface water or ground water.  Futhermore if you don't comply with all the conditions in your permit or authorisation you can be fined or prosecuted.

Read more....


Supermarket 'watchdog' not likely until 2012.

26th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Following on from our blog post of 17th Jan, we can report that according to NFU National President, Peter Kendall, there is little change of seeing the appointment of a 'supermarket adjudicator' until next year.

At the annual meeting of Brecon and Radnor Mr Kendall told union members that the proposal, which could help ordinary farmers take on the might of large retails, has been 'kicked' into 2012.

“We have been calling for many years for an Ombudsman to be appointed to...

Spelman calls for agricultural revolution to feed the world.

25th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Caroline Spelman, Defra secretary, has called for an agricultural 'revolution' to feed the global population which is expected to reach 9bn within 40 years.

She said that opening up global commodity markets would reduce price volatility and benefit the world's poorest people.  She went on to say that an integrated approach to food security was vital to reduce poverty, tackle climate change and reduce biodiversity loss.

"The UK government is determined to show the international...

NFU and FFA join forces to lobby for dairy farmers.

24th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The NFU and FFA (Farmers For Action) have joined forces to lobby for a better future for dairy farmers.  The two parties have finally buried their differences after more than a decade of low milk prices and of many farmers continuing to lose money, despite rising market prices throughout 2010.

NFU President, Peter Kendall, and dairy board Chairman, Mansel Raymond, met with Farmers For Action Chairman, David Handley, to discuss the crisis in the industry. 

Both organisations...


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