Does the Agriculture Bill actually mean anything?

Last week I visited Mark Hayward, a farmer in Suffolk who runs Dingley Dell Pork (watch this space for an upcoming podcast episode). I was particularly impressed by him and brother's drive and determination to improve the abundance of wildlife on their farm in real terms; ie not just engaging with Natural England led schemes but … Continue reading Does the Agriculture Bill actually mean anything?

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Robot Fruit Pickers Being Developed for Brexit

As reported here last year, farming is set to take a major hit with Brexit. Nearly a year later, that assessment by former UK representative to the European Union Ivan Rogers is proving to be on-point. Now, industry leaders need to come up with measures to alleviate the problems besetting the agriculture sector, such as the … Continue reading Robot Fruit Pickers Being Developed for Brexit

The Appropriate Technology Movement – Guest Post by Norm Alioto

The Appropriate Technology movement, which was initially and intermittently called Intermediate Technology, was first described a half-century ago by British National Coal Board economist Dr. Ernst “Fritz” Schumacher. In a 1962 report to planning officials in India, Schumacher advocated taking steps to develop the country with an emphasis on labor, which India had in great … Continue reading The Appropriate Technology Movement – Guest Post by Norm Alioto

‘Meet the Farmers’- episode 21 – Royal Highland Show with Kelvin Pate

This episode was recorded back in June at the Royal Highland Show which I was visiting for the first time. I speak to Kelvin Pate, a farmer from near Gifford in East Lothian (Kelvin is also NFU Scotland's Lothian and Borders regional Chair) as well as Jamie Newbould from Scotland's Rural College and Michael Clarke from … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’- episode 21 – Royal Highland Show with Kelvin Pate

Social media: a new farming story

I have an odd relationship with my social media accounts (for the record I use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as WordPress). At times I will use all of them regularly, reaching out to people from all walks of life, engaging in conversations, 'liking' endless streams of posts and updating my 'story' with my … Continue reading Social media: a new farming story

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 20 – Martyn Bergius

The third stop on my Scottish Borders road trip was to visit the Bergius family on their heavily diversified organic dairy farm near Galashiels. Their dairy herd consists of Swedish Reds, Montbeliards, Friesians and Danish breeds and they also keep a flock of Lleyn sheep, two large flocks of Columbian Black Tail chickens and make … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 20 – Martyn Bergius

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 19 – Jim Shanks

The second stop on my recent road trip was to Jim Shanks' farm in the Scottish Borders, near Hawick. Jim is a dairy farmer but is also heavily diversified and grows 300 tonnes of red tomatoes each year as well as having a biomass boiler and anaerobic digestor connecting the whole system, cleverly using the … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 19 – Jim Shanks

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 18 – Matt Naylor

I've been conscious that Meet the Farmers has been somewhat south and east focused so far, so last week I set off on a road trip to south east Scotland (including the Highland Show), stopping off at farms along the way. On the first day I called by flower grower Matt Naylor's place in Lincolnshire. … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 18 – Matt Naylor

Making hay while the sun shines

Unless you have downloaded the Met Office app, set your alarm for 6.25pm to catch the evening weather forecast, own a weather station or simply keep one eye permanently fixed on the sky you cannot really call yourself a proper Brit. As a nation we are frankly obsessed with the weather. This is often called … Continue reading Making hay while the sun shines

New report suggests that trees on farms are essential to improve productivity and environmental protection post Brexit

Major agroforestry trials should be established during the EU withdrawal period according to a report launched today by the Woodland Trust and the Soil Association. The policy document, entitled “Agroforestry in England: Benefits, Barriers and Opportunities” also suggests that government support for farmer-led research and innovation networks seeking to integrate trees and agriculture should be trialled. … Continue reading New report suggests that trees on farms are essential to improve productivity and environmental protection post Brexit