3rd September 2021


Rural Rap

HUNDREDS OF BAGS OF RUBBISH HAVE BEEN PULLED OUT OF THE RIVER STOUR IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, reports the Kent Messenger.  A series of river cleans organised by the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership have removed thousands of bottles, cans, cigarette butts, food wrappings, plastic bags, clothing and face masks.  The mountain of waste has filled almost 270 bags.  Also fished out were 48 traffic cones, 18 shopping trolleys and 13 bikes.  The River Stour that flows through Canterbury could lay claim to being England’s most historic river.  In Roman and medieval times, the river was a major transport route, connecting Canterbury with mainland Europe, and playing a key role in the spread of Christianity.

FARMERS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEW TREE HEALTH PILOT, reports Farming UK, the CLA and Farmers Weekly.  The scheme is designed to support action against pests and diseases.  The three year pilot will be delivered by the Forestry Commission and will cover parts of the North West, Wets Midlands, London and the South East.  The scheme aims to establish 100 agreements with anyone interested in helping deal with trees on their land affected by a pest or disease outbreak.

BRITISH SCIENTISTS WILL GROW A NEW STRAIN OF WHEAT USING A REVOLUTIONARY FORM OF GENETIC EDITING, reports The Times and Farming UK.  The trials will be the first in Europe for a wheat that has been genetically edited using a tool known as Crispr.  It is hoped that the end result will be healthier bread.  The trial crop will be grown outside in Hertfordshire and has been gene-edited to reduce levels of asparagine.  This is a naturally occurring amino acid that, when used to make bread and toast is converted into acrylamide which is thought to be carcinogenic.  The end result would not be considered GM as it does not involve transferring one organism into another.

A DRY BREAK IN CONDITIONS HAS SEEN THE GRAIN STORES FILLING IN THE SOUTH, reports Farmers Weekly.  Cefra’s three southern stores are filling up as the 10 days of dry weather saw farmers make good progress through the bank holiday weekend.  Moistures are down to about 14.5-15%.  Yields across winter wheats have been variable, but should be on course for a five year average, but probably no better than that.  Group 1 milling wheats have seen proteins struggling to get over 13%.


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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