8th April 2022


Rural Rap

A KENT FARMER HAS BEEN FINED AFTER A WORKER WAS ENTANGLED IN A POTATO HARVESTER IN 2020, reports Farming UK.  The worker was involve in unblocking the potato harvester when he stepped down onto the rollers, from where he was pulled leg first into the machine and became stuck up to his knee.  An HSE investigation found that the farmer, Alan Down, of Ashford, had failed to implement a “safe stop procedure” to isolate power and stop the movement of the rollers before the worker accessed them.  He was ordered to pay out over £10k.  The agricultural industry accounts for 1% of the British workforce, yet accounts for 20% of worker deaths.

CHAPEL DOWN HAS BECOME THE OFFICIAL SPARKLING WINE FOR THE ENGLAND AND WALES CRICIKET BOARD, reports the Drinks Business and Produced in Kent.  This is seen as a major coup for the brand and will see Chapel Down’s sparkling wine offered to winning teams on the podium at all Men’s International, Women’s International and Domestic Finals.  Chapel Down is already the official sparkline wine of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race and Ascot Racecourse, as well as having a partnership with the Donmar Warehouse, the Turner Contemporary, and the Royal Opera House.
Chapel Down inks new deal as official sparkling wine for English Cricket (thedrinksbusiness.com)

SOME BRITISH FARMERS ARE CALLING FOR A BAN ON PARAQUAT OVER CONCERNS OF ITS LINKS WITH PARKINSON’S, reports the BBC.  Hundreds of US farm workers are pursuing a legal case against the manufacturer of the toxic weedkiller, alleging that it new the risk and failed to warn them.  Paraquat is one of the world’s most popular and effective herbicides, and millions of farmers have used it to kill weeds.  But it is also one of the most dangerous and has caused thousands of poisoning deaths.  Its manufacturer, Syngenta, says claims of a link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s are not supported by scientific evidence, and that it has undergone over 1,200 safety studies.  Paraquat has not been authorised for use in the UK since 2007, but it is still made – under the name Gramaxone – at Syngenta’s plant in Huddersfield.
UK farmers call for weedkiller ban over Parkinson’s fears – BBC News

BRITS WILL SOON FACE A CHEESE SHORTAGE AS SPIRALLING PRODUCTION COSTS HIT PRODUCERS, reports City AM.  Supermarkets are already experiencing dwindling supplies, and are expecting things to get a lot worse.  The warning comes as the NFU forecasts that the recent 50% increase in the price of milk is likely to stay for the foreseeable future.  The price increases are being driven by the spiralling cost of feed, fuel and fertiliser, making margins tight throughout the entire supply chain.  As costs soar, farmers will be tempted to reduce supplementary feed, thereby reducing yields.  There is little cheese in storage at the moment, making a supply shortage likely.
Dairy crisis looming as British farmers warn out-of-control milk price rise is creating acute shortage of cheese (cityam.com)

INVESTORS ARE BUYING MORE US FARMLAND AS THEY HEDGE AGAINST INFLATION, reports the Financial Times.  Commodity shortfalls triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have driven world food prices to record highs.  Land values in the Midwest grain belt have gained 25-30% in the past year, while auctions are drawing intense bidding for available ground.  One professor of farmland economics said that “interest in this asset class has never been this high before.”  Last month’s buyer pool in Iowa consisted of 35% investors and 65% farmers, compared with 18% investors in 2019.

RABI HAS LAUNCHED GRANTS OF UP TO £1.5K TO HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS, reports Farming UK.  Farming people across England and Wales can apply for the support, as the cost of living soars to its highest level in a decade.  The grants can be used towards home related energy costs, such as energy bills or for making home energy efficiency improvements.  With gas and electricity rising over 50%, the NEA forecasts that 6.5m UK households will be in fuel poverty – up more than two million on six months ago.  RABI’s grant means that people facing immediate financial hardship in relation to fuel cost increases can apply for the grants.  Applications can be made by calling the 24-hour helpline on 0800 188 4444.

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The Canterbury Farmers Club - Notice of General Meeting

Tuesday 26 April 2022

18.30 prompt arrival.

Please arrive at 18.30 prompt, so we can be seated and ready to eat in the cafe area from 18.45.  The meeting will commence in the events room upstairs at 20.00 sharp and coffee will be served there.

Further information from info@canterburyfarmersclub.co.uk

KENT COUNTY SHOW 8, 9, 10 July

!!!The Kent County Show is back!!!

9am to 5pm daily
The Kent Showground, Detling ME14 3JF

Tickets currently available online at www.kcas.org.uk

Children go free.  Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome.