1. News
    Created by News
    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Silage waste or spoilage is a problem on many farms. Over the winter season, waste can build up considerably. A few simple measures have been put in place on UCD’s Lyons Research Farm to improve silage quality and to avoid spoilage.

    Silage making might be a few months away, but now might be the time to have a look at these pictures to compare your own silage and methods of sealing the pit.

    Silage Covers
    Silage pits on the UCD farm have been covered in different ways in order to find the best method of preventing spoilage. The walls of the pits are always covered with plastic. The sides and the top of the pit are also fully covered in polythene.

    This year, Silostop Wall Film was used on the sides of the pit instead of the regular polythene. Silostop Orange Oxygen Barrier Film was placed on top of the pit – over the regular polythene (main picture above). There is a minimal amount of spoilage on the pit. The picture below shows the oxygen barrier on the side of the pit and the low level of spoilage.

    Silostop Wall Film on the side of the pit
    The silage pit beside this pit is covered with regular black silage polythene – on the sides and on the top....
  2. News
    Created by News
    Feb 23, 2018 at 12:27 PM

    Legislation to make CCTV cameras mandatory in slaughterhouses in England to safeguard animal welfare has been laid today by Defra Secretary Michael Gove.

    The legislation will come into effect from May 2018, once it passes through Parliament, at which point businesses will have six months to comply.

    In August 2017, the Secretary of State launched a consultation on the plans to deliver a manifesto commitment for CCTV to be required in every slaughterhouse in England in all areas where live animals are present.

    The consultation suggested unrestricted access to footage for official veterinarians – reassuring consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced.

    A summary of responses published in November showed that, of almost 4,000 respondents, more than 99% were supportive of the plans.

    Read the full article here...
  3. News
    Created by News
    Feb 22, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    Winter Wheat for the 2018 Cereals Challenge

    Six teams from Universities and Colleges from across the country have been presented with this year’s Cereals Challenge; to grow a virtual crop of winter wheat in a testing set of circumstances.

    Launched in Solihull earlier this month, teams from Nottingham University, Newcastle University, Harper Adams University, Writtle University College, Hartpury College and the Royal Agricultural University were presented with this year’s Challenge where the scene was set to grow the best plot of winter wheat on land that has a resistant black-grass challenge and is following a crop of oilseed rape leaving Clearfield volunteers to manage.

    Now in its 9th year, the Cereals Challenge aims to encourage a new generation of agronomists and farmers into the industry by offering them a ‘crop’ to manage and is organised by crop production specialists Hutchinsons and farm business management company Velcourt.

    Speaking at the launch, Paul Hobson of Hutchinsons explained the reasoning behind the virtual approach. “Previously teams have been given a real plot to manage at the Cereals event site, however with such a geographical spread of teams, this disadvantaged those further away who were not able to visit the site. By creating virtual plots this makes it simpler and fairer for all.”

    “A new twist for this year is that we set up the challenge using videos where Keith Norman of Velcourt and Dick Neale of...
  4. News
    Created by News
    Feb 22, 2018 at 11:23 AM


    Genetically modified organisms have garnered an abundance of skepticism and misinformation in the public eye. One new analysis uses over two decades of research to put some rumors about GMOs to rest.


    There is a great deal of misinformation out there regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). From monikers like “Frankenfoods” to general skepticism, there has been a variety of biased reactions to these organisms, even though we as a species have been genetically modifying our foods in one way or another for approximately 10,000 years. Perhaps some of this distrust will be put to rest with the emergence of a new meta-analysis that shows GM corn increases crop yields and provides significant health benefits.

    The analysis, which was not limited to studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada, showed that GMO corn varieties have increased crop yields worldwide 5.6 to 24.5 percent when compared to non-GMO varieties. They also found that GM corn crops had significantly fewer (up to 36.5 percent less, depending on the species) mycotoxins — toxic chemical byproducts of crop colonization.

    Read the full article here...
  5. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS
    Feb 22, 2018 at 8:03 AM

    Written by John Swire

    The NFU has launched its #SeeItChangeIt campaign at the NFU’s annual conference – its latest initiative to improve safety and wellbeing on farms.

    The campaign aims to get farmers and growers actively looking for risks on farm, and using simple and cost effective ways to eliminate them.

    The NFU announced the new campaign at the farm safety workshop this afternoon, which looked to tackle stress and mental wellbeing as well as practical safety when working in agriculture.

    Each person attending the session filled out a #SeeItChangeIt Promise Card, selecting one thing they would do to improve their safety and wellbeing on their farm.

    NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “It is widely acknowledged that the safety record within the farming sector needs improving, and there are simple but specific practices that we can change ourselves.

    The #SeeItChangeIt campaign will get farmers actively looking for risks on farm and then doing something about it – whether it’s a promise to check their PTO shaft every week, wear a helmet every time they ride an ATV, or simply just to keep their mobile phone charged and on their person.

    “It must also be noted that the mental wellbeing of farmers is just as important as physical safety. Stress and depression are among many other illnesses that can massively impact your life and work, and we must be able to recognise when we...
  6. AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Created by AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Feb 22, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    AHDB at Fruit Logistica 2018

    Written by Stuart.Baxter@ahdb.org.uk

    AHDB at Fruit Logistica

    A joint team made up of AHDB Horticulture and Potatoes travelled to Berlin to attend Fruit Logistica earlier this month (February 2018). The three-day event, which welcomes an estimated 76,000 visitors from around the world, is the biggest fresh produce event of its kind.

    Overall, the event was a great a success. The excellent atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop for a lot of networking and business opportunities for levy payers to actively build their businesses, as well as supporting and enhancing the reputation of British produce abroad.

    Release Date:
    Thu, 02/22/2018

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Potatoes Website...
  7. Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Created by Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Feb 21, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    048 Love at First Sight

    Written by

    Tonight I'm heading over to Aherla, near Cork in the South of Ireland to talk to dairy farmers Peter and Paula Hynes @Peterhynes15 @Paulahynes4

    Firstly we talk about their non-farming backgrounds, how they met through a mutual love of horses and have been inseparable ever since, and how they ended up on their own dairy farm with 3 small Daughters in tow.

    Peter then talks movingly and in depth about his issues with mental health, and how he eventually overcame them with the help and support of Paula and multiple counselling sessions. We also discuss why he's now trying to help others with similar struggles.

    We talk about the couple's dairy farm, and how they've grown it from 50 cows in 2014, to 180 cows this year. We also go into some of the highs and lows they've experienced along the way, including their devastation at losing 32 Cows to Bovine TB, and winning the prestigious Irish Farmer of the Year 2017.

    I also ask Peter all about his recent shenanigans with pink overalls with leopard print trim, raising money for charity.

    Peter and Paula are one of the nicest, most genuine couples you could ever meet, fantastic farmers, and an absolute credit to the agricultural industry. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to them both tonight.

    Check it out folks..

    This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information...
  8. Farm Business RSS
    Created by Farm Business RSS
    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Written by John Swire

    Minette Batters has been elected as the new President of the National Farmers’ Union.

    Ms Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire, has been elected for a two-year term alongside Guy Smith as Deputy President and Stuart Roberts as Vice President.

    The election took place after the AGM of the NFU Council, a representative body made up of its elected members, following the annual NFU Conference.

    Ms Batters said: “I am delighted to have been elected as President of the NFU and I am grateful to all the members who have given me the opportunity to lead our industry through Brexit and beyond.

    “At the heart of the NFU is its members and I would like the organisation to aim even higher on their behalf. British farming is in the spotlight like never before and this is a great opportunity to reposition the sector in the eyes of the nation.

    “Together as a new officeholder team, we will hit the ground running and I look forward to sharing our new vision for farming at the earliest opportunity.”

    Mr Smith said: “It is a great privilege to serve the NFU as an officeholder and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to begin a new role as Deputy President.

    “To serve as the deputy to Minette is a great honour. Having worked with Minette for the past four years, I am looking forward to working with her and Stuart as a close team in what will be a pivotal two years...
  9. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Feb 21, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    Share your stories from inside the farming industry

    Written by Guardian readers

    We want to hear from people working in the farming and food production industry around the world as we begin a new investigative series

    So much of our global food production takes place behind closed doors. In some countries, farm and factory workers are asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. In some US states laws prohibit undercover filming and photography on farms. Some farmers are prevented from speaking out by the large companies to which they are contracted; others are silent because they already feel at risk.

    But our farming and production sectors are vital to the global economy – and subject to a great deal of debate and discussion. These jobs are hard, sometimes dangerous, and rarely well-paid – and yet farm and food workers around the world hardly get the chance to put forward their side of the story.

    Continue reading...

    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we...
  10. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Feb 21, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    About Animals farmed: investigating modern farming around the world

    Written by

    An investigative series looking at the global impact of intensive farming practices and searching for sustainable solutions

    The Animals farmed project is an investigative series examining issues around modern farming of animals and everything that flows from it. The series is supported, in part, through a grant to theguardian.org by the US-based Open Philanthropy Project, which identifies outstanding giving opportunities, provides grants, follows the results and publishes its findings.

    Working in partnership with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and other journalists around the world, this series seeks to interrogate global practices and to examine the potential for change.

    Continue reading...

    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for...