21st February 2020


Rural Rap

STATISTIC OF THE WEEK: UK soft fruit production has grown by 185% in just 20 years

A LEADING WINE MERCHANT IS TO BUILD A NEW, MODERN BASE THAT WILL DOUBLE UP AS A TOURIST DESTINATION, reports Kent Online.  The Vinorium, currently based in Lenham, has received approval for a new home in Egerton, where visitors will be able to taste wine and find out more about the growing process.  Specialising in Australian, American and NZ wine, the company is a global brand and the country’s leading seller of Austrialian wine.  A focus will be placed on Kent’s wines which will be offered for comparison at tasting events.  A new vineyard will also be planted alongside the building, while a tilted meadow roof will lessen the impact on rural surroundings.   There will be a designated area for a fruit orchard, beehives, a vegetable garden and outdoor kitchen and dining area.  Read more…

FARM EXPO’S KEYNOTE SPEAKER WILL BE THE CHAIR OF THE NFU ENVIRONMENT FORUM, reports the Kent Showground.  Phil Jarvis will attend the event on 4th March to discuss the NFU’s “Achieving Net Zero” goal and what this means for British farming.  His keynote speech will form part of the Expo’s headline seminar on “Future Farming – the Next Ten Years,” which will discuss what farmers can expect to see in the next decade for the farming industry.  Phil Jarvis will be joined by Rob Yorke, a rural commentator and chartered surveyor; and Mario Caccamo, MD of NIAB EMR.  Farm Expo is on 4th March at the Kent Showground and is free to attend with free parking.  The headline seminar is at 11.30am and the afternoon seminar will follow at 2.30pm.  Read more…

FARMERS HAVE CRITICISED THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO BOOST THE SEASONAL WORKERS PILOT, reports Farming UK.  The pilot has been expanded from 2,500 to 10,000 in a bid to boost the workforce on UK farms following concerns over a lack of migrant labour.  The scheme enables farmers to employ migrant workers for up to six months.  But UK farming unions maintain that c.70,000 seasonal visas are needed after the end of free movement, and that 10,000 falls “woefully short.”  However, the CLA said that the news shows that the “Government is listening.”   Read more…   
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A SIMPLIFIED TAX SYSTEM FOR RURAL BUSINESSES COULD HELP UNLEASH THE POTENTIAL OF THE RURAL ECONOMY, argues the CLA.  The CLA submitted proposals to the Treasury for a new Rural Business Unit as part of its Rural Powerhouse Campaign, designed to improve productivity in rural communities.  The proposal argues that there should be one set of coherent tax rules to be applied to all business activities undertaken by entrepreneurial farmers which are managed as one economic unit.  This would be a simplification, thereby saving time both for HMRC and rural businesses.  Read more…

RABI IS TO RELEASE MONEY FROM ITS CRISIS FUND TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY GRANTS TO FARMING FAMILIES AFFECT BY STORM DENNIS AND CIARA, reports Farming UK.  Farmers across the country have experienced heavy storms over the last two weekends, and more rainfall is forecast.  RABI has released an initiral £50,000 to provide emergency payments to those affected.  The charity has already provided around £75,000 of grant support to those affected by extreme wet weather since the autumn.  To apply for assistance, call RABI confidentially on 0808 281 9490.   Read more…

THE UK FARMING ROUNDTABLE IS CALLING FOR AN URGENT RELAXATION OF THE THREE CROP RULE IN THE WAKE OF RECENT FLOODS, reports Farming UK and the CLA.  With thousands of farmers across the country battling floods after Storm Dennis and unable to get onto their land to plant crops, the group – made up of delegates from farming organisations across the country – has called on the government to grant a derogation from the rule and to broaden the extent of the Farming Recovery Fund to help flood-hit farmers with any uninsurable losses as a result of the flooding.  The CLA has also issued its own statement and advice for those affected.    Read more…
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THE ANNUAL BIG FARMLAND BIRD COUNT WILL BE EXTENDED UNTIL THIS SUNDAY DUE TO RECENT EXTREME WEATHER, reports Farming UK.  The farm wildlife event has been extended for an additional week because of the recent storms, the GWCT has announced.  This will give those who wish to participate more time to get out and count.  The national initiative, which sees farmers count the birds they see on their farm, was originally going to end a week ago.  Last year over 1,400 farmers took part.
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27th February: RABI Farmhouse Breakfast
The Chairman of the Kent County Agricultural Society invites you to a Farmhouse Breakfast in aid of Kent RABI.  This breakfast, in Kent, is the final one of twelve to be held this spring. 
8.00am for 8.30am start
Chilham Room, Clive Emson Conference Centre, Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground ME14 3JF
Tickets £15 each
For more information, or to book a ticket, please contact:
Charles Tassell – charles@tassell.co.uk or 07973 412 179
Lucy Hegarty – lucy@kentshowground.co.uk or 01622 633 052

4th March: Farm Expo
Farm Expo, organised by the Kent Agricultural Society, showcases machinery, supplies and services for the agricultural industry with trade stands, seminars and networking opportunities.  Kent’s standout agricultural event will host major national and international providers of farm machinery and services and will host seminars on the industry’s trending topics.
Trade stands can be booked until 31st January by contacting Meghan Rice-Wilson on meghan@kentshowgroumd.co.uk / 01622 633 057
The Kent Showground, Detling
To register your attendance: http://bit.ly/2LdY4l1

5th April: Romney Marsh Wools Open Day
There will be opportunity to meet the lambs, as well as to find out more and about the sheep and life on the farm.  There will be Kentish crafts, food and drink available on the day from specially selected producers, plus activities for children of all ages, including the chance to have your photo taken in a tractor.  There will be a cookery demo from Julie Friend, Master Chef 2009.  The sponsored charity will, once again, be RABI.

FREE Entry
11.00am to 3.00pm
Rushfield, Giggers Green Road, Aldington, Kent TN25 7BT

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