Changes to rules on sewage discharge, grassland fungi, inflation for agriculture
The Government’s announced it will make changes to tighten up rules on water companies dumping raw sewage into rivers. But will it stop it happening?
The National Trust is starting a new project to protect some of the rarest fungi in the world found on grassland in Yorkshire.
An annual independent assessment of inflation for agriculture shows the cost of farming inputs, including fertilisers, seeds and fuel has risen by nearly 22% between Sept 2020 and 2021.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
26/10/21 - Staff shortages, meeting Romanian workers and herbal leys
The Association of Labour Providers has told us staff shortages in the food supply chain are unprecedented, bleak, and on-going. A recent survey of their members found 99% of labour providers couldn't meet their clients needs for workers in the last 3 months, and 75% say they will not be able to meet demand in the run up to Christmas.
We find out how recruitment is going after the announcement of new short term visas for seasonal poultry workers. One country where recruitment is taking place is Romania. We sent the BBC’s Central Europe correspondent on a tour of farms there to ask people there if they want to work in the UK.
And continuing our week long focus on grass, we look at herbal leys. A multi-species ley is a mixture of plants including grass, grown in a field for a limited time to provide food for livestock, or improve soil structure and fix nitrogen for future arable crops. We visit a research station run by a seed company in Wiltshire, where scientists are testing out various combinations of seeds. Could herbal leys hold some of the answers to issues like increasing weather resilience, improving biodiversity and reaching net zero.
Presented by Anna Hill
Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons
25/10/21 - Scottish beavers, pumpkins and grass seeds
Scotland’s wildlife agency has been ordered to stop issuing licences to cull beavers without first giving its reasons in writing. A judge ruled that NatureScot had unlawfully issued licences in the past - upholding complaints from the rewilding charity Trees for Life. It argued that too many culls were being allowed rather than looking at alternatives, like re-homing beavers. Beavers have been re-introduced in some areas of the UK and are popular, but in others where they’ve escaped into the wild or been re-introduced illegally farmers say they cause a lot of damage. So what next for Scottish beavers?
We visit a farm in Staffordshire where pumpkins have become big business.
And this week we’re focusing on grass - what its good for, what its bad for and how farmers use of it is changing. We start by hearing from DLF - the world's largest producer and distributor of grass seeds.
Presented by Charlotte Smith
Produced by Heather Simons
23/10/21 Farming Today This Week: Trade and Agriculture Commission, New Zealand trade deal, rural post offices, apples
The Government finally launches its new Trade and Agriculture Commission to scrutinise new trade deals. Is it up to the job?
We ask what does the UK get out of the proposed New Zealand trade deal. Will it mean a flood of cheap new Zealand lamb?
On Wednesday the Chancellor will announce his spending review and campaign groups have written asking for support for rural post offices to continue.
It's apple harvest time. We hear from farmers on a shortage of pickers and how they store their fruit.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
21/10/21 Agriculture in the Government's Net Zero Strategy and COP26, apple pickers and storage
As MPs throw out Lords' amendments to the Environment Bill and the Government's Net Zero Strategy looks thin on farming content, we ask will agriculture get the attention it deserves at COP26.
We're talking apples all this week and today we hear from a farmer who's turned to family, friends and Facebook this year to find pickers, and hear how growers store their fruit, chilled for up to a year.
Presented by Caz Graham and produced by Beatrice Fenton.