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Farming Today

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

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  • 19.10.2020
    11 MB
    11:40
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    19/10/20 Agricultural by-products, rural broadband, vegetable genebank

    This week on Farming Today we want to explore how the UK is making use of by-products from agriculture, things that some might see as waste but others can make use of. So we’ll talk slurry, chicken manure, feathers and straw. The regulator Ofcom is investigating BT’s delivery of broadband in hard to reach rural areas. Ofcom appointed BT to deliver the Universal Service Obligation which requires them to help deliver broadband of 10 megabits per second download speed upon request to those in poorly served areas, but is concerned at some of the prices quoted for connection. The UK Vegetable Genebank, based in Warwickshire, is celebrating its 40th birthday. The Genebank is made up of millions of seeds stored in giant freezers at the University of Warwick.Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

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  • 17.10.2020
    23 MB
    24:47
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    17/10/20 - Farming Today This Week: The impact of COVID on rural communities and the Agriculture Bill

    This week the Agriculture Bill was back in the House of Commons. Top of the political agenda was a proposed amendment from the Lords that would block imports of food produced to lower standards than UK farmers have to follow. The NFU has been campaigning hard on this, but in the end only 14 Tory MPs rebelled and the amendment was thrown out. The Government promise standards will be protected, but farmers are unimpressed.And what impact is COVID having in rural communities. From a boom to local businesses as people give up their commute, to a rise in house sales as city-dwellers move out to work from home in the countryside. We look into the postives and negatives of the legacy of lockdown.Presenter by Charlotte Smith Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

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  • 16.10.2020
    12 MB
    13:29
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    Fishing and trade, mental health in agriculture, wine harvest

    Fishing is again proving a major and problematic issue in the Brussels Brexit talks this week. It's difficult to see how the UK’s insistence on annual negotiations on access to its waters can fit with the EU’s insistence on maintaining the existing access European fleets have to British waters. We’ve been looking at how rural communities have changed during Covid, and mental health has obviously been a big part of that. The lockdown put a strain on many of us, wherever we live, but farming can present unique challenges, from isolation to long hours. Charities supporting farmers say they’ve had more calls, but Covid has made helping harder. We’ve reported on a lot of poor harvests this year with yields down for many cereal crops hit by bad weather. One small sector is having a really good harvest, and that's grapes. English wine producers say they’re on for a record harvest this year.Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

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  • 15.10.2020
    13 MB
    13:41
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    15/10/20 - Rural broadband, fish refuge pools and rights away on farmland.

    In rural areas broadband has been an issue for years as the topography and isolated nature of some communities has made getting a fast, reliable connection tricky and expensive. So when will the situation improve - and will the increase in people working from home give the project impetus? Charlotte Smith speaks to Openreach.We visit a trial site on the River Lodden in Berkshire where they are digging refuge ponds for fish to protect them from flooding and pollution incidents.And how do you protect walkers from livestock? Several rural groups are coming together to try to get the Government to allow farmers to temporarily divert rights of way when livestock are present. But although the Ramblers are sympathetic to the problems, they say they are unimpressed with this proposed solution. We find out more.Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

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  • 14.10.2020
    13 MB
    13:36
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    14/10/20 - British food standards and the Ag Bill, Greenpeace disrupting trawlers and farm shops in lockdown

    An amendment to the Agriculture Bill that would have protected UK farmers from imports of food produced to a lower standard, has been thrown out. We hear from two Tory rebels: former DEFRA Secretary Theresa Villiers and Chair of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish. What is Plan B?East Coast fisherman say a protest by conservationists in the North Sea is putting lives at risk. Campaigners from Greenpeace are dropping boulders into the sea to deter trawlers from fishing in a protected area. But local fishermen are condemning the move as irresponsible.And this week Farming Today is focusing on the difference Covid’s made, and is still making, to rural communities. We visit a Norfolk farm shop which has seen a surge in demand and set up a new veg box scheme. Presented by Anna Hill Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

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  • 13.10.2020
    12 MB
    13:24
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    13/10/20 - New RSPB policy on shooting, the Agriculture Bill and rural house sales

    After an extensive review into game-bird and grouse shooting, the RSPB has decided both sports should do more to reduce their impact on the environment. It wants the introduction of licences for driven grouse shoots and says the industry has 5 years to improve it’s environmental credential before it advocates for an outright ban. On game bird shooting, it says the release of pheasant and partridges should be regulated if shoots can’t show ‘substantial’ environmental improvements within the next 18 months.The latest figures show that house sales in rural and coastal areas are surging ahead of urban sites. Estate agents Zoopla reports a 30% increase in rural house sales between June and August compared to the same period last year. In urban areas there was a rise of 18%. We visit Ryedale in North Yorkshire, which seems to be a particular hot spot, to find out why people are flocking there and what that means for the local population.Presented by Anna Hill Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

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