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Farming Today


All rural life is here: daily news of food, farming, the countryside and the environment with analysis and context from the BBC's experts in the field. Presented by Anna Hill and Charlotte Smith.

All rural life is here: daily news of food, farming, the countryside and the environment with analysis and context from the BBC's experts in the field. Presented by Anna Hill and Charlotte Smith.
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London, United Kingdom




All rural life is here: daily news of food, farming, the countryside and the environment with analysis and context from the BBC's experts in the field. Presented by Anna Hill and Charlotte Smith.




The UK Egg Industry - Free Range or Barn?

Charlotte Smith looks into the state of the British egg industry at a time of great change. We eat about 200 eggs per year, that's including those in cakes, and the UK flock counts about 38 million birds. The retail egg market is worth around £1billion a year. Supermarkets and egg producers say they will have stopped cage-produced eggs by 2025, but what will they be replaced by? Many assume it means we'll see a substantial increase in free range eggs. However, Tom Willings, Chief Operating...


Agrimetrics, Egg farms in Wales, Future Food Award nominee

Big data is big news in agriculture but the UK is being held back because the Government charges. Agrimetrics is a body which hopes to bring Government, academics and industry together and their CEO David Flanders tells Charlotte Smith how this data can potentially save farmers an enormous amount of time, and Mathematician Hannah Fry outlines the importance of using and paying for data. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales says that an explosion in poultry farms in Wales is a...


Dementia in rural areas, What does free range really mean? Children and the realities of farming

Charlotte Smith explores the realities of living with dementia in rural areas: for some, smaller communities can be sympathetic, but getting to appointments can be a problem. Today, as the Alzheimers Society launches its Rural Dementia initiative, Sarah Swadling meets two people from South Devon who know the reality of living with dementia, in the countryside. In the UK we consume almost eleven billion eggs a year. And according to figures from DEFRA around 50% of those eggs eaten are...



Anna Hill looks into the economics of renewable energy generated on farm. Whilst government subsidies are now lower than a few years ago, the cost of solar panels has reduced, meaning income for farmers can be about the same. The Environmental Audit Committee today claims there has been a dramatic fall in investment in renewables, which is threatening the Government's ability to meet legally binding climate change targets. Thomas McMillan, Head of Energy Consulting at Savills, gives Anna an...


Report into the Rural Payments Agency, Eggs from Caged Hens, Banking for Farmers

A new report is issued into the performance of Rural Payments Agency, which is responsible for paying farmers their subsidies from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. Richard Betton from The Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Service tells Anna Hill about some of the difficulties farmers in the area have experienced in applying for and receiving payments. As part of a week looking at eggs, Sarah Falkingham has been to meet the owner of one of the UK's colony caged systems. Caz Graham has...


Countrywide Farmers Stores, UK Egg Industry

Charlotte Smith hears about the impact of the demise of Countrywide Farmers stores on those who rely on their goods for everyday rural needs. The chain of 48 stores was to have been take over by Mole Valley Farmers, but the deal was called in by and the business is under administration by KPMG. How many eggs do you reckon you eat in a year? Well on average here in the UK we consume 200 - that's including those in cakes. The retail egg market is worth nearly £1billion a year, the UK laying...


Farming Today This Week: How Animal Feed Is Made

Each year the UK produced 15.5 mt of animal feed, but what's actually in it? Charlotte Smith visits Duffields in Yeovil to find out how they source, produce and distribute feed for Ruminants across the South West. Charlotte follows the production line from the delivery of sugar beet pellets through to the finished product. She's guided through the process by Operations Manager Wes Larner who explains how the mill uses elements such as molasses and bakery off-cuts to create the perfect...


Proposed new environmental watchdog, Stow Horse Fair

DEFRA's proposed environmental enforcement body - is it a watchdog or a poodle? Yesterday, the Government published draft plans for an environmental body to enforce the rules once we leave the EU. But it seems all sides are united in criticising the proposals. The Environment Secretary Michael Gove says the plans will help deliver a green Brexit, and that 'we will only achieve our aims by... creating a strong and objective voice that champions and enforces environmental standards' He says...


Lords' report into Brexit and food prices, Soya alternatives, GM debate

A House of Lords Committee has released a report on the potential impact of Brexit on food prices. Charlotte Smith speaks to the Committee chair, Lord Teverson about his findings. In a survey of 1,600 18 to 30 year olds for the Agricultural Biotechnology Council young people are pro GM crops and other disruptive technology. Charlotte asks organic farmer Adam Payne from Dorset and conventional farmer Ed Ford, both under thirty, for their views. This week we're looking at the theme of animal...


New courses for future agriculture leaders, the fall armyworm, a pilot scheme to detoxify water, animal feed shortages

New courses are to be launched by the Royal Agricultural University which it says will prepare future leaders of agriculture for farming post-Brexit. How treating pollution from old mine workings could provide a solution for cleaner British rivers. A pest which is considered one of the most damaging in America landed in Africa just two years ago and has now spread across the continent. The fall armyworm is the larva of a moth which can fly 300 miles before they lay their eggs. There are...


Health & Harmony Government Consultation, Dawn Chorus and Animal Feed

The Government's consultation on the future of farming closes today - Sybil Ruscoe gets the reaction from Minette Batters from The National Farmers' Union and Elise Wach, a Research Advisor at the Institute of Research Development who says that food needs to be at the forefront of any plan. To begin a week on animal feed James McCulloch from the Agricultural Industries Confederation explains exactly what goes into animal feed, what's made here and what's imported, and what the industry...


New Zealand Farmers

In this special Bank Holiday programme, Nancy Nicolson travels to New Zealand's High Country, where changing farming practices have come under the scrutiny of environmentalists and the country's Department of Conservation. She reports from South Island's Southern Alps. Produced and presented by Nancy Nicolson.


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