farming futures

Latest News or Articles for farming futures Website.
author name:  ahdb horticulture adopting fruit-wall orchards instead of traditional orchard systems, could make mechanising pruning of apple trees easier for growers and help reduce costs, latest ahdb horticulture research finds. uncertainties about the fruit industry’s ability to source seasonal workers following brexit and an increase in labour costs means there’s a sharper focus than ever on finding ways to mitigate the industry’s reliance on human labour.read more
author name:  professor tim benton, morrisons via farming online morrisons is starting a search for the best local food producers, as a new report calls for the uk to be more self-sufficient in food production and new consumer research shows a growing appetite from british shoppers for more local food. ‘the nation’s local foodmakers’ will see morrisons aim to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across england, scotland and wales in the first year. morrisons is inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets via a series of 12 regional events starting in yorkshire on 14th march. read more

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author name:  mark halsall, germination many consider it one of the most important questions facing the world today: how to feed the nine billion people expected to populate the planet by 2050? answer: eliminate sex from agriculture (crops anyway! ed).read more
author name:  ahdb horticulture growers are better equipped than before to deal with outbreaks of diamondback moth (dbm), as baselines for their susceptibility to chemical control have now been identified. but the uk industry is warned to expect large numbers of the pests in future, delegates at an ahdb horticulture workshop heard. resistance research at rothamsted established new baselines for testing dbm samples, which hadn’t previously existed.read more
author name:  carbon trust some of the world’s biggest businesses and public sector organisations are using their influence to drive sustainability improvements throughout their supply chains. the cdp global supply chain report 2017, written by the carbon trust and bsr, reveals that suppliers disclosed emissions reductions equivalent to 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016 – greater than france’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014.[1] and these reductions resulted in associated cost savings of us$12.4 billion.read more

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author name:  krishna ramanujan, cornell chronicle   over many thousands of years, farmers have bred maize varieties so the crops are optimally adapted to local environments. a new study analyzed close to 4,500 maize varieties – called landraces – bred and grown by farmers from 35 countries in the americas to identify more than 1,000 genes driving large-scale adaptation to the environment.read more
author name:  chris stoate, allerton project research blog, gwct the agriculture and horticulture development board (ahdb) runs a network of arable business groups across the country, enabling farmers from the same area to benchmark the economic performance of their cropping against each other, and against regional and national averages.  it's a great initiative that stimulates discussion within the group about how we each approach our cropping systems.  it is an opportunity for us to learn from each other, as well as from ahdb expertise, and from invited speakers.  read more

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author name:  gl smith, sruc et al in animal the transition from gestation to lactation is marked by significant physiological changes for the individual cow such that disease incidence is highest in early lactation. around the time of calving, cows rely on mobilisation of body energy reserves to fill the energy deficit created by an increase in nutrient demands at a time of restricted feed intake.read more
author name:  leigh morris, nlbc it’s 10 months into my role at the national land based college (nlbc) and it’s a good moment to give an update on progress and next steps… in january luke harmer joined nlbc as our nlbc digital manager, which, alongside jo cummins and sarah purdell, completed the recruitment of our planned core nlbc team, who are based at our office in the rural innovation centre at stoneleigh park.read more

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author name:  hortibiz in a 47,300-square-foot facility near kyoto, spread, an agriculture technology company, is creating a massive, automated, indoor "vertical farm"—and the special ingredient is the use of robots. the goal: to produce 30,000 heads of lettuce a day initially using led lighting and hydroponic technology and with produce on multiple rows of shelving, stacked one on top of the other.read more
author name:  the roslin institute the advance – using gene-editing techniques – could help to boost breeding of endangered birds, as well as improving production of commercial hens, researchers say. a team led by dr mike mcgrew at the roslin institute used a genetic tool called talen to delete a section of chicken dna. they targeted part of a gene called ddx4, which is crucial for bird fertility.read more
author name:  hort news elsoms has introduced erasmus, a new asparagus variety which has the potential to transform the economics of purple asparagus growing within the uk. developed by bejo zaden, the world’s first 100% male hybrid purple asparagus, erasmus, delivers excellent quality spears at yields two to three times those of alternative purple breeds, offering comparable performance to leading green varieties.read more

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author name:  sciencedaily a new reactive vaccination strategy for future foot-and-mouth disease epidemics shows that significant cost savings can be achieved by accurately identifying our capacity to vaccinate.read more
author name:  sciencedaily gene editing -- one of the newest and most promising tools of biotechnology -- enables animal breeders to make beneficial genetic changes, without bringing along unwanted genetic changes. and, following in the footsteps of traditional breeding, gene editing has tremendous potential to boost the sustainability of livestock production, while also enhancing food-animal health and welfare, argues uc davis animal scientist alison van eenennaam. lessons from the dairy industry:read more

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author name:  hort news elsoms has introduced erasmus, a new asparagus variety which has the potential to transform the economics of purple asparagus growing within the uk. developed by bejo zaden, the world’s first 100% male hybrid purple asparagus, erasmus, delivers excellent quality spears at yields two to three times those of alternative purple breeds, offering comparable performance to leading green varieties.read more

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author name:  jim orson, niab jesse ausubel of the rockefeller university in the us has long held the view that technology liberates the environment. his papers include some on agriculture and forestry but there are also many papers on other industries, all with this same overriding conclusion.read more
author name:  ibers, aberystwyth university it is a common sight to see plastic shelters placed on young tree saplings to protect them when growing, but new research suggests that this may also prepare them to survive climate change. (ibers, aberystwyth university) aberystwyth university graduate catherine duerden unearthed the truth about tree shelters while writing her msc dissertation and the findings have been published in the quarterly journal of forestry.   tree sheltersread more

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author name:  scottish rural network what are the aims of the project? this project aims to build upon the results of the successful fishglasshouse project. the fishglasshouse is a modern state-of-the art aquaponic facility at the university of rostock.read more
author name:  development economics for nfu farming is a vitally important uk industry making a major economic contribution, both in its own right and as a key supplier to the uk’s agri-food industry.   departure from the eu single market will bring about momentous change for uk agriculture, for a number of reasons:read more
author name:  ma sutherland, ruakura research centre et al in journal of diary science the objective of this study was to compare the health, physiology, and behavior of group-housed calves reared on wood shavings with those reared on alternative surfaces. at 1 wk of age, 80 calves were moved into 1 of 20 experimental pens (n = 4 calves/pen) where they remained until 6 wk of age. pens had floors covered with pea gravel (pg), rubber chip (rc), sand (sa), or wood shavings (ws; n = 5 pens/substrate).read more
author name:  pn gott, ohio state university, et al in journal of dairy science the objective of this study was to assess the effect of milk cessation method (abrupt or gradual) at dry off on milk yield and somatic cell score (scs) up to 120 d in milk during the subsequent lactation.read more
author name:  jr roche, dairy nz et al in the journal of dairy science in pasture-based systems, cows are generally thinner at the end of lactation than cows fed total mixed rations and, as a result, over-feeding of metabolizable energy (me) during the far-off nonlactating period is a standard management policy to achieve optimum calving body condition score (bcs). an alternative would be to manage cows to gain bcs through late lactation, such that cows ended lactation close to optimum calving bcs and maintenance of bcs through to calving.read more

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author name:  gregory miller for the national dairy council people want more from their food above and beyond good taste, reasonable price and convenience. some people are increasingly motivated to buy foods based on another factor: social impact, which includes contributing to sustainable food systems. but what qualifies eating patterns as being sustainable?read more
author name:  mark reed et al, white rose research online payment for ecosystem services (pes) schemes are proliferating but are challenged by insufficient attention to spatial and temporal inter-dependencies, interactions between different ecosystems and their services, and the need for multi-level governance. to address these challenges, this paper develops a place-based approach to the development and implementation of pes schemes that incorporates multi-level governance, bundling or layering of services across multiple scales, and shared values for ecosystem services.read more

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author name:  mark price, wynnstay grazing is about to increase as the spring approaches, making it time to think about how we use supplementary feed to make the most of grazed grass. with grass the cheapest feed available to cows, any kind of supplementation must complement, not restrict,  grazing – balancing limitations in grass to improve on farm margins.read more
author name:  john innes centre scientists at the john innes centre (jic) are developing a new line of fast-growing sprouting broccoli that goes from seed to harvest in 8-10 weeks. it has the potential to deliver two full crops a season in-field or it can be grown all year round in protected conditions, which could help with continuity of supply, as growers would no longer be reliant on seasonal weather conditions.read more

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author name:  nfu press release farmers can save time and money when considering new contracts by signing up to a new service for nfu members. the contract checking service has been developed following an increase in contract dispute cases referred to the nfu’s legal assistance scheme (las) and enquiries from members asking for nfu guidance before signing contracts.read more

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author name:  charlie morgan, grassmaster for the grassland & muck event early spring is an opportune time for farmers to assess their grass swards, to maximise productivity in the season ahead. charlie morgan, grassland consultant at grassmaster, will be speaking at this year’s grassland & muck event, and offers his top five tips for getting the most from pasture. physical assessmentread more
author name:  seedworld in an effort to grow plants at a faster rate, two men in georgia — one a physicist and the other a biological and agricultural engineer — formed a horticultural lighting company that literally allows the lights to communicate with plants to determine optimal lighting conditions. in 2013, co-founders erico mattos, chief technology officer, and ryan hunt, commercial adviser, brought to life phytosynthetix in athens, ga., to commercialize an innovative technology developed at the university of georgia during their graduate studies.read more

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author name:  sciencedaily what looks like a caterpillar chewing on a leaf or a beetle consuming fruit is likely a three-way battle that benefits most, if not all of the players involved, according to a penn state entomologist.read more
author name:  julienne isaacs in european seed great taste is back on the agenda for fruit and vegetable breeders. what do people like about tomatoes? the answer probably isn’t “disease resistance” or “shelf stability.”read more
author name:  michael feitknecht, syngenta in european seed the soil is a dynamic and living environment and is home to many different types of living organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and nematodes. the balance of these of organisms is a highly delicate one. subtle changes, like those due to new farming practices, can result in pathogens that cause great damage to crops.read more
author name:  michael feitknecht, syngenta in european seed the soil is a dynamic and living environment and is home to many different types of living organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and nematodes. the balance of these of organisms is a highly delicate one. subtle changes, like those due to new farming practices, can result in pathogens that cause great damage to crops.read more
author name:  marcel bruins, european seed better solutions that meet new requirements are needed to feed a growing world. from the viewpoint of our planet, our society, and even from the european continent, we are faced with a large amount of new requirements, or challenges, if you will. one needs only to mention climate change, increasing population, dwindling mineral reserves and fresh water shortage, and it becomes clear that life is different than it was 50 years ago.read more
author name:  red tractor assurance the red tractor logo is something that british farming can hang its hat on as new international trade agreements are negotiated.   that’s the view of jim moseley, chairman of assured food standards which runs the assurance scheme.  speaking at the nfu’s conference, he said that with the huge challenge of opening up international trade destinations in light of brexit, there is significant potential to use an established assurance scheme as a unique selling point for british food and drink.read more

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author name:  sciencedaily over many thousands of years, farmers have bred maize varieties so the crops are optimally adapted to local environments. a new study analyzed close to 4,500 maize varieties -- called landraces -- bred and grown by farmers from 35 countries in the americas to identify more than 1,000 genes driving large-scale adaptation to the environment.read more
author name:  sciencedaily "food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population." this truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.read more
author name:  christine burkhard, the roslin institute, et al in plos pathogens porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome is an endemic infectious disease of pigs, manifesting differently in pigs of different ages but primarily causing late-term abortions and stillbirths in sows and respiratory disease in piglets. the causative agent of the disease is the positive-strand rna prrs virus (prrsv). prrsv only infects a specific subset of cells of the innate immune system of the monocyte/macrophage lineage.read more
author name:  farm-r new farmer to farmer machinery rental is the ‘airbnb for farm machinery’, helping to bring asset efficiency to british farming  an innovative new farm machinery trading platform has launched in the uk. farm-r is an online market-place allowing farm businesses to share machinery and create efficiencies for both parties, making agriculture more environmentally and financially sustainable. from the click of a button from your phone, tablet or computer, farm-r allows farmers to easily connect with each other to share machinery and transact securely.   read more

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author name:  dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university for farming connect ectoparasites of sheep: sheep scabdr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university  take home messages: read more

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author name:  euractiv the debate over glyphosate has not been a scientific discussion but an activists’ war against ‘big agri’. glyphosate is scientifically proven to be safe and should be re-authorised.read more
author name:  the dairy site for years now dairy cows have been growing in stature, however that trend needs to be arrested to ensure efficiency. that was the message at a recent ahdb calf to calving meeting held in aberdeen. ahdb dairy technical manager andy dodd explained that a maintenance value had been added into the most commonly used breeding indices to try and stop uk dairy cattle getting any bigger. in time the value should see fewer very large cows being bred.read more
author name:  st david’s poultry team poultry producers are facing a particularly high risk of red mite infestation this spring, with warm weather and the need to house birds causing outbreaks across the country.read more
author name:  dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university for farming connect the effect of alternative bedding materials on sheep behaviour and welfare dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university  read more

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author name:  new food magazine the need for a new approach to food production and an urgent need for people to reconnect with their food, were the key themes of the city food lecture 2017 held on 21 february.  the lecture was prepared by chris elliott, the professor of food safety, and founder of the institute for global food security at queen’s university belfast. it was delivered by michael bell, executive director of the northern ireland food and drink association, after professor elliot was forced to withdraw from the evening for personal reasons.read more
author name:  dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university for farming connect ectoparasites of sheep: sheep scab, dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university  take home messages: read more

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author name:  the farmers club through the farmers club charitable trust, with generous support from two major sponsors, 17 agriculturalists have participated in courses offered by the windsor leadership trust over the past five years. the wlt aims to provide inspirational programmes for leaders from all sectors of society, who have, or will have, the potential to shape the future of their own organisations, and society as a whole.read more

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author name:  ahdb cereals and oilseeds black-grass requires a three-pronged attack to promote and develop sustainable management solutions, according to the main findings arising from an ahdb-funded workshop. organised by the bbsrc/ahdb black-grass resistance initiative (bgri), the workshop united farmers, industry and researchers to help concentrate the uk’s black-grass management efforts.read more

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author name:  bayer crop science and face running for the eighth time, the bayer/face awards celebrates the best of british agricultural education, recognising those who have made a significant and noteworthy impact on helping people understand the importance of farming and the countryside environment wonder no longer! running for the eighth time, the bayer/face awards celebrates the best of british agricultural education, recognising those who have made a significant and noteworthy impact on helping people understand the importance of farming and the countryside environment.read more

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author name:  james hanks, university of reading for nmr this is the seventh annual nmr interherd+ kpi study 2016 of performance in holstein friesian herds, covering the 12 months up to 31st august 2016. the 500 study herds are selected to ensure they are representative of all black and white herds (from the best to the worst) that milk record with nmr in the uk. the study, led by dr james hanks at the university of reading, describes the range of performance across the 500 herds for over 30 fertility, production and health parameters.read more
author name:  modern farmer cattle rustling is a huge and very expensive international problem that has actually been on the rise over the past decade. now, a team of australian and new zealand scientists are hoping to put a dent in these crimes with a new theft-prevention system that uses gps technology to keep track of livestock. (modern farmer)read more
author name:  cereals event arable farmers could maximise returns by including specialist crops in their rotations – and they can find out how at the cereals event 2017.read more

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author name:  jessica sellick, rose regeneration for the rural services network. there are now a number of government and industry initiatives and funding streams to support agricultural innovation in the uk. this is part of a commitment from government to create more jobs and promote growth through its industrial strategy; as well as a commitment from industry to take ideas ‘from the lab to the market place’ to bring commercial rewards for farmers whilst delivering environmental benefits. what is agricultural innovation and what does it mean for rural places? jessica sellick, rose regeneration investigates for the rural services network.read more

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author name:  jonathan scurlock, et al, nfu what is likely to be powering agricultural and farmyard machinery in ten or twenty years' time? a research / position paper for the nfu compile on current trends. d by jonathan scurlock, tom price, richard wordsworth and others downloadable files:  electric vehicles read more
author name:  barnhealth the world’s first system that instantly measures a chicken’s weight and its exact feed need is returning information about cage-free chickens at a level of detail never before achieved. the precision broiler breeder feeding system was designed by poultry researcher martin zuidhof, who, since 2013, has run it through four pilot tests and four full experiments at the edmonton research station on the university of alberta south campus.read more
author name:  bsas take-home messages
  • rapeseed meal could entirely replace soya bean meal in finisher pig diets
  • proportions of rapeseed meal in a diet could be lifted to 25% without it impacting on an animal’s performance
  • could be an opportunity for feed suppliers to revise formulations and reduce dependence on imported soya
rapeseed meal could replace soya bean meal as a cheaper and more sustainable alternative source of protein in finisher pig diets.read more

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author name:  fao fao has developed a series of key messages of the international year of pulses. these documents provide an in-depth look at how pulses can help to improve health, nutrition, biodiversity, food security and climate change adaptation.read more
author name:  parliamentary office of science and technology this postnote outlines the benefits and costs of future improvements in energy efficiency across various uk sectors. it then describes the barriers to energy efficiency measures, outlines options for future energy efficiency policy and summarises analyses of the effectiveness of different policy options. (parliamentary office of science and technology) what is energy efficiency?read more

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author name:  mrt three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials announced.   read more
author name:  niab four agriculture students from cornwall’s duchy college are the winners of the niab agronomy cup and the title ‘the best student wheat growers in the country’.read more

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author name:  defra data on farm business incomes are used to monitor and evaluate government and eu policies and to inform wider research into the economic performance, productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural industry. the data are provided to the eu as part of the farm accountancy data network (fadn) and are widely used by the industry for benchmarking.read more
author name:  bers, aberystwyth university via innovate uk a new approach for producing daffodil-derived galanthamine based on integrating daffodil growing into existing upland pasture while avoiding the need to plough the field. (ibers, aberystwyth university via innovate uk) technical summaryread more
author name:  matt rayment, manufacturing technology in food matters live it was a revelation to me when i finally made the discovery as to where the mysterious group of people who controlled the magic in the food development process hung out. it certainly wasn't with the production team where i was. “you guys are scientists, right?” i remember saying as i suddenly understood why our paths had almost never crossed and this is what needs to change.read more
author name:  sally shortall is duke of northumberland professor of rural economy at newcastle university, landbridge blog i grew up on a farm, in a farming family, and my brothers still farm.  my own academic career has included extensive research on farming households, and particularly women’s work on farms.  i know how fundamental farming is for the countryside, for our landscapes, our food production and our rural economy.  and i also know that farming is not an industry that operates in isolation.   agriculture may be the weft of a rural community but it is woven through with many other industries and businesses, from the micro to the multinational level.read more
author name:  seedworld after seven years of research and development, norwest is in its final year of testing a new cover crop radish in 2017, and if the results are as expected, the company will have seed for sale in 2018.  today’s cover crops mixes include brassicas, grasses, legumes and non-legume species, and mixes of four to eight species are common. but allan lill of the new zealand-based norwest seed, a supplier of cover crop seed to the global market, says that there has been very little breeding work done to improve what these crops can actually do.read more
author name:  british horse society strangles is a commonly diagnosed infectious disease that affects all equidae worldwide. caused by the bacterium streptococcus equi (s.equi), this disease is highly contagious and is spread by direct or indirect contact. it can affect any age, sex or breed of horse and remains a widely feared disease because of its debilitating effects and its potential economic impact on equestrian businesses. (british horse society) clinical signsread more

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author name:  adama uk as part of its commitment to working closely with farmers and to offer simple, but effective crop management advice, adama uk invests heavily in its ‘thought leadership’ programme. the purpose of this programme is simple: to meet regularly with a key group of forward-thinking farmers to discuss ways in which we, as an industry, can move the uk arable sector forwards. get involved and have your sayread more
author name:  tassos haniotis, director agri.c - strategy, simplification and policy analysis european commission conference presentation by tassos haniotis, director agri.c - strategy, simplification and policy analysis european commission summarising the debate:  achievements of the cap reform path:
  • bridging the gap between world and eu farm prices, thus increasing competitiveness
  • turning the eu from a major trade player for both exports and imports into a net agro-food exporter
  • providing relative income stability within a very volatile income and price environment
read more

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author name:  gwct predatory insects and spiders can play an important role in reducing the number of damaging crop pests. with a little help, farmers can boost their numbers, reducing the need to use pesticides in the countryside. (game & wildlife conservation trust. we know that over-wintering habitat is often lacking in the modern agricultural landscape, especially in the middle of large fields.read more
author name:  ibers, aberystwyth university via innovate uk a new approach for producing daffodil-derived galanthamine based on integrating daffodil growing into existing upland pasture while avoiding the need to plough the field. (ibers, aberystwyth university via innovate uk) technical summaryread more

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author name:  ahdb dairy dairy wizard is a set of simple, easy to use downloadable calculators that enable you to understand the cost implications for different housing, parlour and slurry storage situtations before making substantial investments. read more

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author name:  andrew homer for home farmer andrew homer finds quail both productive and fascinating. here he covers some basic essentials for anyone interested in keeping quail. have you ever dreamt of keeping chickens for eggs but just don’t have the room, or wanted to keep something a little different from a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster? well, quail are a great alternative if you are limited by space. they are small game birds and a great choice for back-garden keepers or city living, where larger poultry such as chickens, ducks or geese are simply not practical.read more

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author name:  ahdb the national pig association has welcomed the findings of a report on objective animal welfare data covering nearly 5.5 million pigs over three years. ahdb’s real welfare report is the culmination of a partnership between farmers and vets, developed in response to the pig industry’s desire for science-based evidence of welfare standards within the sector.read more
author name:  legume laboratory we have previously written about the possibility of using rnai-based technologies to provide plants more sustainable and greater protection against viruses. rnai, or rna interference, is the protective process used in many eukaryotic cells against viruses which uses double stranded rna (“dsrna”) sequences complementary to that of a pathogen to silence the translation of that foreign rna into proteins. it was recognised in a recent review article as one of the genetic technologies that could be used to provide sustainable crop protection in the future.read more
author name:  ahdb horticulture a new diagnostic technique has been developed to identify tomato root mat disease infection in young tomato plants, enabling growers to respond before symptoms become severe. (ahdb horticulture) root mat disease now affects almost nine out of 10 tomato nurseries in the uk.read more

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author name:  sciencedaily out of the more than 300,000 plant species in existence, only three species -- rice, wheat, and maize -- account for most of the plant matter that humans consume, partly because in the history of agriculture, mutations arose that made these crops the easiest to harvest. but with crispr technology, we don't have to wait for nature to help us domesticate plants, argue researchers at the university of copenhagen. they describe how gene editing could make, for example, wild legumes, quinoa, or amaranth, which are already sustainable and nutritious, more farmable.read more
author name:  jim orson, niab the end of a fairytale i was just starting to write this blog when news came through that claudio ranieri had been sacked. last year, against all odds (well, 5,000 to1), he led leicester city to the premier league title. his sacking is indeed the end of a fairytale.read more
author name:  phil cooper, the farm consultancy group the thought of your bank putting you into special measures can fill some business owners with dread and the fear that the bank is going to force them out of the business.  in our experience this is not the case.  having your business in special measures can actually present a business with more options of restructuring debt than may be available with your main line manager.  the special measures managers have more time to spend with you, looking at your business and plans and work with you to enable you to achieve them.read more

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author name:  phil cooper, the farm consultancy group the thought of your bank putting you into special measures can fill some business owners with dread and the fear that the bank is going to force them out of the business.  in our experience this is not the case.  having your business in special measures can actually present a business with more options of restructuring debt than may be available with your main line manager.  the special measures managers have more time to spend with you, looking at your business and plans and work with you to enable you to achieve them.read more

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author name:  sian davies, nfu no-one knows their cows better than a dairy farmer, and hence they are best placed to know the needs and preferences of their own herd. even in the uk there is a huge variety in our dairy herd and dairy farms, from guernsey cows to the black and white holstein friesian, from small family run mixed units to larger more specialised dairy enterprises.read more
author name:  alison m bard, university of bristol et al, plos one client behaviour change is at the heart of veterinary practice, where promoting animal health and welfare is often synonymous with engaging clients in animal management practices. in the medical realm, extensive research points to the link between practitioner communication and patient behavioural outcomes, suggesting that the veterinary industry could benefit from a deeper understanding of veterinarian communication and its effects on client motivation.read more

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author name:  harper adams university weeds are estimated to cause average yield losses of approximately 13% globally. however, in certain crops and in certain situations losses can be significantly higher.  management of weeds is vital if cropping systems are going to provide food security. however, weed management can be time- and energy- expensive and often relies heavily on chemical controls that can lead to development of herbicide resistance and unwanted environmental effects. read more
author name:  farminguk a west sussex egg farm has not taken any chances with its chickens and the current scare of bird flu, so it is taking advantage of the latest laser technology to protect its birds.  orchard eggs in west sussex is not taking any chances with its chickens and it is taking advantage of the latest laser technology to protect its birds.read more

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author name:  carbon brief the reduction would leave uk co2 emissions some 36% below 1990 levels. the huge fall in co2 from coal use in 2016 was partially offset by increased emissions from oil (up 1.6%) and gas (up 12.5%). (carbon brief) these findings are based on carbon brief analysis of department of energy, business and industrial strategy (beis) energy use figures. this analysis has proven to be accurate in previous years.  coal crushedread more
author name:  the food ethics council the food ethics council has published the ‘food issues census 2017’, which provides a frank assessment of the activities and capacity of civil society organisations (csos) working on food and farming in the uk. it follows on from the original food issues census in 2011, the first ever effort to develop a picture of the voluntary sector on food, farming and fishing in the uk.  taking the ‘temperature’ of food and farming related civil society organisations in 2016* is a timely opportunity to assess how the landscape has changed.read more

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author name:  duchy college and worshipful company of farmers the leadership and management programme (lamp), established by the worshipful company of farmers, will target the personal development of its participants, while helping to contribute to the growth of the wider rural sector, explains richard soffe, director of duchy and bicton college’s rural business school.read more
author name:  ahdb dairy ahdb dairy have produced a series of information sheets and associated short films to provide ideas on how to optimise calf performance. raising heifer calves is the second largest annual expense of a dairy business’s production costs, after feed, with no income until the first lactation and no profit until the second lactation. heifers are the future of the dairy herd and deserve to have the best management that incorporates all the latest research and management advice. in return, they will repay the investment through higher milk production and a longer productive life.read more

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author name:  yorkshire dales national park authority wensleydale has become one of two pilot areas in england for a new style of agri-environment scheme, in which farmers retain full control over the management of their land. (natural england, yorkshire dales and national park authority) wensleydale has become one of two pilot areas in england for a new style of agri-environment scheme, in which farmers retain full control over the management of their land. 19 farms in wensleydale are taking part in the three-year “payment by results” project.  read more

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author name:  global food security programme according to a recent public survey commissioned by the global food security (gfs) programme, many british adults recognise that the food system is a key contributor to climate change and would change their diets as a result of climate change.read more

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author name:  sciencedaily precision agriculture techniques could have substantial financial benefits for producers of hand-picked specialty crops, according to a new paper. a researcher has developed a mathematical model that determined the optimal time for transporting a grower's strawberries from the field to cold storage.  many of the "smart farming" techniques and technologies that help growers harvest more of what they sow faster and more efficiently have focused primarily on row crops, bypassing growers of high-value fresh produce.read more

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author name:  farmland magazine german manufacturer claas won the special jury prize at the ‘machine of the year 2017’ awards held at sima, paris for the jaguar with shredlage® crop processing technology. (farmland magazine) shredlage® originates in the usa and is a pioneering form of maize silage treatment used by an increasing number of dairy farmers in regions with limited grassland. typically maize is chopped at a longer chop length of 26 to 30 millimetres and processing the crop using the shredlage® cracker technology is key to the entire process. read more
author name:  paul brown, kings in frontier agriculture, my technical brief the uk sugar beet crop is set to increase by up to 25% this year as the sugar surplus has eased and quotas are due to end. however, yields will suffer if sugar beet is sown into poor soils and despite many growers taking an interest in improving soil health and structure, there is plenty still to be done. kings eastern technical advisor, paul brown examines how green cover crops can make a difference. read more

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author name:  sciencedirect extracts with high levels of sugars, proteins, phenolics and flavonoids were obtained which exhibited a high antioxidant capacity (measured via abts and oxhlia assays). the developed extracts had potential as fortifying and functionalizing agents for foods. (josé pinela et al, science direct)read more
author name:  ahdb horticulture the crop walkers’ guide app is a user-friendly tool designed to accurately identify economically-damaging pests, diseases and disorders on tablets and smart phones. the app, which is based on ahdb horticulture’s popular crop walkers’ guides, also allows users to log the gps location where symptoms were spotted while on nursery, in store and out in the field.read more
author name:  centre for ecology and hydrology a new european study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. in drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased. this could result in a positive feedback to the atmosphere leading to an additional increase of atmospheric co2 levels. (centre for ecology & hydrology)read more

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author name:  hort news the standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed (seeds and propagation section) of the european commission has approved a so-called ‘temporary experiment’ with derogatory rules on the marketing of true potato seed. (hort news) innovative technologies now allow propagation of potatoes by seeds and this has a number of significant benefits, including speeding up the multiplication of varieties which are currently reliant on tuber production.read more

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author name:  ieep for eating better future policies towards livestock farming and trade in the uk and eu should support a shift to healthy sustainable diets and develop more coherent approaches to environmental objectives such as climate change, protecting nature and high animal welfare. (sue dibb, eating better website)read more

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author name:  savills landscope the soil association and simon fairlie with the land workers’ alliance have prepared policy recommendations for molly scott cato a green mep for the south west region. (via savills landscope) the soil association proposed six game changing policies:read more
author name:  savills savills agricultural rents survey shows that, over the past three years, the size of rental increases and the number of reviews being undertaken has steadily fallen. rent review activity is estimated to be just a fifth of that three years ago.  however, average growth for rent settlements is still positive. our analysis of rents settled in the year to 31 october 2016 shows that aha rental growth was, on average, 7% down from the 11% average recorded for reviews conducted in 2015.read more
author name:  alex lawson, savills despite the extraordinary political developments of the last 12 months and speculation about the economic consequences, last year much of the farmland market in great britain proved incredibly resilient and performed well.  gb farmland is a valuable commodity, so much so that its combined worth in 2016, all 39.8 million acres of it, has been valued at £185.7 billion. but what does the future hold?read more