KENT POLICE ARE ADVISING HORSE OWNERS TO BE VIGILANT FOLLOWING A NUMBER OF BURGLARIES INVOLVING EQUESTRIAN PROPERTIES, reports Kent Police. The break-ins all took place between 1st May and 4th May in areas of west and north Kent – East Farleigh, Throwley, Boughton Monchelsea and Paddock Wood. Stolen items include two carriages, an aluminium trailer, a horse shower, tools, tack, rugs, saddles, painkillers, a headcollar and a bridle. Kent’s Rural Task Force is investigating the possible link between the incidents and advises horse owners to be vigilant. They also ask potential buyers of cheap second hand equestrian items to be mindful that the items may be stolen. If you have information, please contact Kent Police or Crimestoppers. kent.police.uk/news/kent/news2/appeals/2005/equestrian-properties-targeted-in-burglariies/
SHIPBOURNE FARMERS MARKET HAS ADAPTED TO LOCKDOWN WITH ITS CLICK AND COLLECT SYSTEM. Customers order products online from a choice of up to 12 stallholders. Orders are broken down to individual suppliers, who bring their orders to a drop off point. These are then divided up by buyer, so that a buyer’s complete order is put together. The buyer receives a 10 minute collection slot, during which their shopping is put straight into the boot of the car. This video explains the process, and how it observes social distancing, in more detail. youtube.com/watch?v=h-9oWHgm8XI
LONG LANE FARM IN SHEPHERDSWELL IS ON THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 80 YEARS, reports the Kent Messenger. A grade II listed farmhouse,complete with 110 acres of arable land and a host of farm buildings with planning permission for residential conversion, is being sold by informal tender. The closing date for bids is Friday June 12th. Marketed by Alex Cornwallis of BTF, the guide price for the whole estate is £2.205m. It is being offered either as a whole or in five separate lots. Permission is granted to develop the buildings into a five-bed house, a three-bed house, and two two-bed houses. There are also three plots of agricultural land.
KENT POLICE HAVE SHARED THE IMAGE OF A STOLEN LOG SPLITTER IN THE HOPE OF FINDING ITS OWNER. The log splitter, believed to be stolen, was discovered on 2nd March in the St Martin’s Lane area of Canterbury. Officers have carried out a number of enquiries but have not yet been able to trace its owner. The picture has now been released in the hope that someone will come forward. It is a trailer-mounted machine. For the picture, and details on how to contact the police, please visit the link.
THE GREATEST ONLINE AGRICULTURE SHOW RAISED THOUSANDS OF POUNDS FOR CHARITY AT THE WEEKEND, reports Farming UK, Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly. The show hoped to counter the numerous cancellations and sparked immediate support from the farming community. It took five weeks of planning and attracted over 6,000 visitors and 800 livestock entries. It raised over £16,000 for RABI, RSABI, FCN, YANA and the DJP Foundation. The show featured an educational zone, an agri-tech hub, a countryside ring, and even a virtual beer tent. The Red Arrows, which puts on air displays through the summer, provided previously unseen footage for the event. The show site will remain online for a while for those wishing to revisit, check out the trade stands and look through the demos, displays and talks. onlineagshow.co.uk/home
HUTCHINSONS, THE CROP PRODUCTION SPECIALISTS, HAVE LAUNCHED AN ONLINE SCHEME TO ENSURE THAT CROP TRIAL OPEN DAYS CAN CONTINUE, reports South East Farmer. The company’s head of tech and innovation said that “farming is not standing still because of coronavirus, and neither are we.” The company is continue to invest in its national and regional trial sites as usual, and the only difference will be the way in which results are shared. “Not able to rely on growers coming to us for open days to discuss trial results – we are bringing open days to the grower.” The scheme is called Fieldwise LIVE and will host of live videos from all trial sites at regular intervals during the season, hosted on the website. southeastfarmer.net/section/arable/fieldwise-live-brings-national-trials-to-your-screen
SPRAYING TECHNOLOGY IS ADVANCING FAST AND FARMERS WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW THE LATEST INNOVATIONS AT THIS YEAR’S VIRTUAL CEREALS EVENT, reports Farming UK. The virtual show will look at trailed, self-propelled or even robotic sprayers. Exhibitors, including John Deere, Amazone, Fendt and Bateman, will present their technology through working demo videos. farminguk.com/news/latest-spraying-tech-to-be-shown-at-online-cereals-event_55591.html
FARMERS ARE BEING INVITED TO “VIRTUALLY CONNECT” THE PUBLIC WITH FOOD PRODUCTION AS PART OF THE ONLINE OPEN FARM SUNDAY, reports Farming UK and Farmers Weekly, among others. With farm visits on hold, and LEAF Open Farm Sunday postponed to September, organised will be organising an Online Farm Sunday on 7th June. From 8am to 8pm, farmers will take over the LOFS Facebook channel and host virtual tours showcasing what is involved in producing food and enhancing the environment. The new virtual format will allow for live interaction and questions from the public. Farmers are also urged to post short film clips and images throughout the day using the hashtag #LOFS20. Last year’s Open Farm Sunday attracted over 230,000 visitors. farminguk.com/news/open-farm-sunday-goes-virtual-for-june-event_55583.html
NEWS THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY SEEK TO CHANGE THE COVID WAGE SUBSIDY SCHEME HAVE BEEN MET WITH A CALL FOR CAUTION, reports Farming UK. The furlough scheme is believed to have cost around £8bn by 3rd May and the Chancellor, it’s understood, is keen not to have staff off work, at home, and at considerable cost to the public purse. A number of options are thought to be up for consideration, including cutting back the 80% subsidy to 60%, lowering the £2.5k monthly cap, or allowing furloughed employees to work part-time, with a portion of their salary met by their employer. These changes could be implemented from July. There are also reports that Mr Sunak is considering plans to change the self-employed scheme, including reducing the trading profit maximum from £50k to £30k.
A NEW FUND HAS BEEN UNVEILED TO ENABLE DAIRY FARMERS IN ENGLAND TO ACCESS UP TO £10K TO HELP THEM OVERCOME THE IMPACT OF COVID, reports Farming UK, the CLA and Farmers Weekly, among others. With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk, the new fund aims to provide support for those most in need. Eligible farmers will be entitled to up to £10k each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May. Dairy farmers have seen decreased demand for their products as the hospitality market was forced to close. The government has also launched a new £1m promotional campaign to boost milk consumption. Milk accounted for 16.85% of total UK agricultural output in 2017 and is the UK’s largest farming sector. farminguk.com/news/coronavirus-hardship-fund-unveiled-for-dairy-farmers_55596.html
SHEEP FARMERS ARE LIKELY TO RECEIVE LESS MONEY FROM BRITISH WOOL THIS YEAR AFTER A SLUMP IN DEMAND, reports Farmers Weekly. British Wool, the industry marketing board, admitted a slump in demand had left one-third of the 2019 clip unsold. Disruption to the supply chain linked to the pandemic has seen prices plummet this year at the farmer-owned co-op’s fortnightly online auctions, with low clearance rates in the normally busy spring sales period. Average sale prices fell at every auction between February and April, with clearance rates below 50%. The news will be a blow to farmers hoping to use the wool cheque to cover the cost of shearing.
NEW GUIDANCE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED REGARDING THE RE-OPENING OF RECYCLING CENTRES, reports Farming UK. Rural areas across the UK have been used as a dumping ground as the public struggles to deal with excess waste and the closure of council tips. Councils are being encouraged to re-open sites to avoid the build-up of waste and reduce the fly-tipping opportunities, but only where social distancing can be maintained. Under the terms of the lockdown, householders can travel to a centre if the waste in their home presents a risk of injury, or a risk to public health or the local environment. The guidance explains how local authorities can manage access. The process of reopening will be gradual and may require pre-booked time slots. farminguk.com/news/councils-told-to-plan-for-safe-re-opening-of-recycling-centres_55592.html
A Government website aiming to link prospective farm workers with prospective employers. Growers can now register their vacancies for this year’s harvest. Please visit: https://pickforbritain.org.uk/ to register your requirements.
A Tenterden-based contact has volunteered his services to any farmer who is short of staff due to the Covid-19 situation. He has past experience (3-4 seasons) of lambing with Romney ewes having worked on a mixed farm that included 500 head of sheep for 4 years. He is based near Tenterden but is happy to travel as required, and permitted by ongoing restrictions.
A huge number of military veterans are on the hunt for casual farm labour over the coming months.
A NEW APP HAS BEEN LAUNCHED WHICH ENABLES USERS TO REPORT A FULL RANGE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO RURAL CRIME IN KENT. The Country Eye App was prompted through a project initiated by Peter Rolington and Mike Bax and developed by Ether Creative in Maidstone. The App can be downloaded onto mobile phones free of charge. It enables users to report a full range of information related to rural crime, including fly tipping and has now passed the impressive milestone of 5000 users. Information is reported every day from all over Kent and relayed by Country Eye to Kent Police or other relevant authority. Linked to the report is a facility to photograph the location of an incident or event, which goes through to Country Eye with a GPS location enabling easy identification of the site. If you haven’t done so already, go to the App Store and download Country Eye. https://countryeye.co.uk/
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
Thousands of temporary workers are needed on British farms to help feed the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jobs are available on fruit farms, arable farms, livestock farms and in pack houses – with workers also needed to fill other vacancies.
Follow @Kentslandarmy on Facebook for specific opportunities, or visit:
To apply, please visit: Hops Labour Solutions: https://hopslaboursolutions.com/
Concordia: www.concordiavolunteers.org.uk / 01273 422 218
Pro-Force Recruitment: https://pro-force.co.uk/ / 0333 335 6262
CDS Labour: http://cdslabour.co.uk/
British Summer Fruits: www.britishsummerfruits.co.uk/jobs / 020 7575 7654
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