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Farming Today


Bad Weather Payments, Farm Vets, Farm Inspections

The Scottish Government has launched a fund for farmers affected by the recent bad weather, but will Wales, England and Northern Ireland follow? National Farmers' Union President Minette Batters explains why she thinks it's vital to English farmers. The audits for Red Tractor Assurance and RSPCA Assurance used to happen in one visit - now it's two. Charlotte Smith asks Joe Bailey from RSPCA Assured why this change has been made. Mark Smalley's been on a farm visit with vet Bryony Kendall as she checks on the health of a pregnant cow. Rubber gloves at the ready! Jackie O'Brien's been to the River Garry to find out about tagging and tracking wild Atlantic Salmon in the River Garry. Producer: Toby Field.


Recognising mental health issues among isolated farmers, Milk prices, Fish vets at work

Charlotte Smith hears about fixed price milk contracts. The dairy company Muller has revealed the details of its fixed price contract for farmers supplying the supermarket chain Lidl. It's offering farmers the chance to fix the price for up to half the milk they sell at 28 pence a litre for three years. Also, mental health advice for farmers in crisis. Sarah Falkingham attends a training event in the North East of England for some of the professionals who visit farms, like grain buyers and feed reps - who have been receiving training in how to help. And the role of fish vets in the aquaculture industry. Given that more than half the fish we eat is farmed, rather than wild caught - Moira Hickey hears why there's a need for veterinary experts to be monitoring the health of fish farms. Producer: Mark Smalley.



On the day that the European Parliament vote it into law, what does the new EU Waste Framework Directive mean for food waste on farm? Anna Hill speaks to Feedback, the charity campaigning to reduce primary food waste on farm before it reaches the wholesaler. Martin Bowman argues that supermarkets have a long way to go to accepting vegetables that are less than cosmetically perfect. Nancy Nicolson visits equine vet Gemma Pearson from Edinburgh Dick Vet school to find out how she's improving safety for vets and an improved outcome for the horses they treat. It's been a pretty horrid spring - but the warmth is now arriving. Despite that, farms across the country are suffering longer term consequences with waterlogged fields, little growth for crops or grass and are way behind with planting.The NFU has asked for a derrogation on the EU three crop rule because of it. So is this year exceptional - or just part of longer term climate change? Anna has been to meet Andrew Francis, farm manager at the Elveden Estate in Suffolk who showed her the records he's kept for the farm's rainfall over the last 20 years. He says figures used by many organisations for total rainfall aren't specific enough to reflect what's happened during the crucial growing season.


Rare Breeds Extinction Warning, Farm Vets, Bee Health and Scottish Pigs

There's a warning that time is running out for some of Britain's historic breeds of farm livestock. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust says without money and action, extinction is a real possibility for five native breeds; Vaynol cattle, the Cleveland Bay horse, the Suffolk Punch horse and two pig breeds, the British Landrace and the British Lop. The charity is calling on the Government and the public to help fund its gene bank to ensure the breeds have a future. A West Country farm vet has been sharing her experiences of being injured by livestock. A survey by the British Veterinary Association in 2015 found that 50% of the vets questioned had been hurt by livestock in the previous year. Amy Jones from Cornwall told Farming Today that in the past she had trapped her hand in cattle crushes, was kicked in the abdomen by a cow and had her arm broken when she was thrown in theair by a bull. Honeybees are struggling to get enough 'good bacteria' from the flowers they visit according to the latest research. Scientists at Lancaster University say a reduction in the number of indigenous plants in the UK is affecting the pollinators' long-term food supply and making it harder for them to fight off diseases. But a solution could be the planting of more native hedgerows, heathers, thistle and cherry trees. The fight to prevent disease in pig herds has taken a step forward in Scotland with a new self-help scheme for breeders. Farmers have agreed to share information for the first time about the health status of their units and any signs of disease they spot. Presented by Anna Hill. Produced by Vernon Harwood.


Farm vets, Venison v lamb - the Brexit effect, Lyme disease in the Outer Hebrides

Sybil Ruscoe hears about the recruitment concerns of farm vet practices in the face of Brexit. Andrew Cobner of the BCVA, the British Cattle Vet Association, explains that the industry relies on large numbers of vets trained in EU and East European countries. Also, why a large Welsh estate is increasing its venison productionover that of lamb. The BBC's Steffan Messenger visits Rhug Estate which, concerned at the prospect of lamb retaining its premium after Brexit, is focusing on increasing its herd of Sika deer. Also Lyme disease in the Outer Hebrides - why research is to being undertaken to address the high incidence of the disease on North and South Uist. Producer: Mark Smalley.