20th November 2020


Rural Rap

BRITAIN’S OLDEST BREWER PICKED UP EIGHT MEDALS AT THE 2020 IBC, reports Produced in Kent.  The International Beer Challenge is a global competition that attracted entries from over 40 countries this year.  Shepherd Neame was honoured in five different categories: flavoured beer, stout/porter, lagers, individual product, and ales. producedinkent.co.uk/news/international-acclaim-for-britains-oldest-brewer

LIGHT LEAF SPOT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED IN OSR CROPS ACROSS THE UK, INCLUDING KENT, reports Farming UK.  This indicates that growers should be vigilant for disease onset this winter.  Since Bayer’s SpotCheck service re-opened for submissions in October, there has been an increasing number of leaf samples testing positive for light leaf spot.  Positive samples were received from Scotland and the north of England, to the East of England including Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Kent, and further West from Somerset and Wilthsire.  Andrew Barr, who farms in central Kent, has started to see light leaf spot as a disease to control.  His control strategy is to grow varieties with higher resistance rates, alongside regular crop walking by his agronomist.  farminguk.com/news/light-leaf-spot-identified-in-oilseed-rape-crops-across-uk_57007.html

THE COST OF RURAL CRIME GREW 9% LAST YEAR, reports Farmers Weekly.  The cost to the UK was £54.3m, with farmers bearing the brunt of the damage.  But it is not just the financial cost, many farmers are suffering from anxiety and stress over the security of their farms.  In the South East, rural crime cost £8.7m.  Nationally, agriculture vehicle theft cost £9.3m, with thieves targeting high value machinery and exporting it out of the country.  Quad / ATV theft cost £3.1m, and livestock theft cost £3m.  Thefts of large numbers of lambs are raising concerns that stock is being stolen for slaughter before illegally entering the food chain.  One farmer says that he spends too much time locking and unlocking gates – it keeps out most people, he says, but it is almost never enough to deter courses and poachers.  fwi.co.uk/news/crime/rural-crime-the-mental-and-financial-toll-on-farmers

THE GOVT MUST REGAIN FARMERS’ CONFIDENCE IF DEFRA’S FLAGSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEME IS TO BE A SUCCESS, reports Farmers Weekly.  80% of farmers say they expect to sign up to the ELM but many fear that payments will be too low and the scheme will be badly administered.  The ELM scheme is due to replace direct payments, which are being phased out from next year across England, but it won’t be fully up and running until 2024, prompting fears of a funding gap as the BPS is wound down.  64% said they were motivated by a sense of personal responsibility to make climate change more of a priority in managing their land and property, with 53% already taking action to reduce emissions.  44% said they were concerned that the ELM would not deliver the prescribed environmental benefits; 64% said they expected the switch to ELM from direct payments to reduce farm profitability.  fwi.co.uk/news/farm-policy/what-farmers-are-thinking-about-the-elm-scheme

SHORTAGES OF BRITISH TURKEY MEAT HAVE BEEN FORECAST AFTER SALES OF JOINTS AND SMALLER BIRDS HAVE ROCKETED, reports the Grocer.  As families adapt their Christmas preparations to Covid, Asda said sales of frozen turkey crowns, which typically serve three to four people had increased by 230% y-o-y.  Kelly Turkeys had sold out of smaller turkeys by the end of October and anticipate that they will be completely sold out in the next week or two.   thegrocer.co.uk/sourcing/christmas-turkey-rush-could-lead-to-shortages-of-british-birds/650503.article


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

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