FarmWeb News – 13/09/2013

According to the agricultural experts, ADAS, the recent good weather has led to almost perfect harvest conditions and the best wheat harvest for five years. A Lincolnshire farmer set a new yield record for wheat by achieving 14.31 tonnes per hectare off a 9 hectare plot.

The CLA is reminding members that rights of way should remain open and unobstructed during this busy ploughing and cultivation period. Paths that cross fields can be ploughed but must be restored and those around field edges should remain undisturbed and vegetation cut back.

The Government has announced the cancellation of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme from the end of 2013. The Scheme allowed a quota of Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the UK for six months and mainly benefited the horticultural industries. Whilst labour restrictions on these two countries are lifted from 2014, horticultural leaders were expecting a replacement scheme and have criticised the Government action.

More protests by milk producers are planned in support of a price increase. Their aim is 35p/litre, many are paid 31p but prices can be as low as 28p, below the cost of production. Milk production, in August, was the highest for five years but dairy farmer numbers in England and Wales fell further to 10,495 in September.

A major hatchery has been fined £20,000 for polluting a watercourse. The pollution was caused by contaminated water being discharged from a lagoon and by detergents from vehicle washing. The wet weather in 2012 is being blamed for an increase of 38% in serious pollution incidents on dairy farms.

DEFRA is to start field trials on a cattle vaccine against TB in 2014. It will also trial an associated test that will seek to differentiate between cattle that have been vaccinated and those that actually have the disease, an essential requirement if the vaccine is to be licensed. Early reports suggest the current pilot badger cull is falling well short on numbers.

Tenant farmers’ leaders have expressed a view that the increase in land values should not be reflected in the traditional round of autumn rent reviews. They have however, expressed concern of an indirect impact with existing owners bidding optimistically high rents to expand their businesses.