21st January 2022


Rural Rap

NEW LEGISLATION WILL BE PUT IN PLACE TO HELP CUT GENE-EDITING RED TAPE, reports Farming UK.  The post-Brexit rule change is part of a bid to encourage farmers to grow more climate-resilient crops.  It means that scientists in England will be able to undertake research and development using genetic technologies such as gene editing.  The rules will apply to plants where gene editing is used to create new varieties similar to those which could have been produced more slowly through traditional breeding processes.

FARMERS AND GROWERS CAN APPLY FOR UP TO £500K TO INVEST IN NEW TECHNOLOGY, reports Farming UK.  Government grants ranging from £35k to £500k are available to invest in new equipment such as automated milking systems and automated tractors.  The new scheme, worth £25m in total, is the latest instalment of the Farming Investment Fund, an umbrella fund which opened in November.  This specific fund has a two-month application window and all farmers in England are urged to take a look.  Grants are paid in arrears and at least 60% of the project costs need to be paid for through private sources.

THREE FARMING CHARITIES HAVE LAUNCHED NEW SESSIONS TO HELP FARMERS FOCUS ON STRESS MANAGEMENT, SUCCESSION AND BUSINESS PLANNING, reports Farming UK and FCN.  The Defra-supported sessions will be delivered online by FCN, Addington Fund and Forage Aid, collectively known as Farming Help.  The events will be informed by the experience of the charities, who regularly hear directly from farmers about the key challenges that they are experiencing.  The sessions are discussion-led and take a positive approach to change, inviting audience participation and the sharing of experiences to benefit others.  The first sessions, which will take place online, are targeted at farm groups, businesses and stakeholders across agriculture.  They will be held on: 24 Feb, 25 Feb, 10 March and 11 March, all from 12-2pm.  Contact training@fcn.org.uk to book a free place.

ALDI HAS INVESTED AN EXTRA £1.6BN WITH BRITISH SUPPLIERS SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC AS PART OF ITS COMMITMENT TO LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE, reports Food Manufacture.  This includes £125m more spent on British meat, poultry and dairy farmers.  The supermarket now sources 100% of its core range of fresh meat, eggs, butter, milk and cream from British suppliers.  Aldi’s UK Chief Executive attributes its best-in-class growth rates in 2021 to working closely, over long periods, with hundreds of British suppliers.  It intends to spend an additional £3.5bn a year with British businesses by the end of 2025.

CANTERBURY FARMERS CLUB - Annual General Meeting Tuesday 25th January, 6.30pm

The meeting will be held at Macknade Food Hall, Selling Road, Faversham ME13 8XF

Please arrive at 6.30pm sharp, so that we can be seated and ready to eat in the cafe area at 7pm.  The meeting will commence in the events room upstairs at 8pm sharp and coffee will be served there.

Contact info@canterburyfarmersclub.co.uk for further information

KENT FARMING CONFERENCE - Wednesday 26th January @ 6pm

Influential guest speakers, seminars and networking opportunities.
Sharing views on regenerative farming, environmental and land management schemes, Basic Pay Scheme and reducing footprints. 

Free event, pre-registration required.
Kent Showground, Detling

Wednesday 26th January 2022, 6pm

Food provided.

For further information, and to register, please visit: https://kcas.org.uk/the-kent-farming-conference/

AONB KENT DOWNS : Grants for farmers, land managers and landowners

Applications are now open for the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme (link)

The three year scheme aims to fund outcomes for People, Place, Climate and Nature in the Kent Downs.  It is possible to apply for more than one year.  Applications can range from £250k, to no miminum.  Funding can be up to 100%, but value for money is part of the assessment criteria.

Applicants will be supported to carry out projects that:

  • Provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage
  • Support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses
  • Mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • Support nature recovery


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

To receive the Rural Rap direct to your inbox please contact info@ruralplc.com