End turf wars over post-Brexit policy, urges Mike Rumbles

An independent group of “relevant stakeholders” should be set up immediately to start planning how agricultural policy in Scotland should develop in the post-Brexit world, the Scottish Parliament decided yesterday.

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NFU Scotland policy chief Jonnie Hall said farmers needed a clear timetable for outstanding payments. Picture: Contributed

Holyrood’s farming loan scheme set to close today

The 2016 National Basic Payment Support Scheme – the loan scheme underwritten by the Scottish Government that has paid out roughly 80 per cent of monies due to individual businesses under the main common agricultural policy farm support scheme – closes today.

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Dairy farm numbers have fallen to their lowest level since records began more than a century ago. Picture: John Devlin

Fewer dairy herds than ever before, but they are larger

After a year where there was a constant chorus of complaints over the price being paid to primary producers of milk, the number of dairy farms in Scotland has decreased by a net 17 to 957 – the lowest number since records began in 1903.

Dr Stuart Wale of SRUC said reducing time between potato crops would increase the risk of infestations. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Scotland’s potato industry ‘must not expand acreage’

Scottish potato growers may be faring better this year with sales of their 2016 crop well above the loss-making prices of the previous season but Dr Stuart Wale, senior potato consultant with SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, has warned against any expansion in the current acreage.

NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker hit out at Theresa May's plans. Picture: Contributed

Farming industry anger after PM signals single market exit

If a quick and comprehensive trade deal giving UK farmers continued access to their European markets cannot be achieved, transition arrangements that avoid the Brexit “cliff edge” will be vital to allow the industry time to adapt, farming leaders have argued.

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The ScotMoves system for recording cattle movements has come under fire. Picture: John Devlin

Chief vet defends new cattle movements reporting system

ScotMoves, the new online system for reporting cattle movements between units owned by the same business, has now gone live.

UK farm minister George Eustice was accused of 'not having a clue' about rural policy after Brexit. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Defra ‘doesn’t have a clue about post-Brexit world’

Despite putting more flesh than had been seen before on the bones of a possible future UK farm policy, farm minister George Eustice was yesterday accused of “not having a clue” about what he was going to do after 2020.

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The University of Strathclyde is the only UK member of the 71-strong Internet of Food & Farm consortium. Picture: Contributed

Strathclyde Uni chosen for high-tech farming initiative

Academics from a Scottish university are to spearhead a multi-million pound international research project looking to bring the farming industry firmly into the 21st century.

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New machinery hints at a vibrancy in the farming industry, says Fordyce Maxwell. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Let’s be Candide: our farmers are optimists at heart

In Voltaire’s satire on the world as it is rather than as we would like it to be, written more than 250 years ago, the eponymous main character Candide is an innocent at large, continually surprised by the immorality and duplicity he meets on his way through life.

The fall in sterling has given UK grain producers a boost. Picture: Chris Young/PA

Grain of hope for arable farm sector over Brexit future

While nothing to do with Brexit is certain, Scottish grain farmers could find themselves facing a less bruising future than the livestock sector once outside the European Union.

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Peter Pythian, new chief executive of the British Charolais Cattle Society. Picture: Contributed

Cattle society unveils new chief to drive Charolais breed

A new face will head up the British Charolais Cattle Society when long-serving chief executive David Benson retires in March.

The forestry sector is worth �954 million to the economy. Picture: TSPL

Conifers show strength of Scotland’s forestry industry

Scotland’s conifer forests are the biggest in the UK, with more than a million hectares of conifer woodland across the country.

Syngenta says Laureate barley offers a dual purpose variety suitable for both distilling and brewing. Picture: Contributed

Laureate looks to break in to malting barley market

The long wait endured by Scotland’s grain farmers for new malting barley varieties to challenge the market leader could come to an end this year, with some real contenders for supplying the distilling market set to be available in commercial quantities for sowing this spring.

NFU Scotland said its members were keen to see the GCA's remit extend beyond the top ten retailers. Picture: Greg Macvean

NFUS calls for grocery watchdog’s remit to be extended

A call has been made for primary producers to be better protected throughout the food chain and for government to extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

From left: Tom French, Martin Kennedy and Gary Mitchell are in the running to be NFU Scotland vice-president. Picture: Contributed

NFU Scotland vice-president candidates share their views

The “all or nothing” nature of this year’s NFU Scotland elections means that only one member of the current three-strong presidential team will be returned after February’s AGM.

From left: Andrew McCornick, Allan Bowie and Rob Livesey are standing for the position of NFU Scotland president. Picture: Contributed

Candidates for NFUS president set out their stalls

The six candidates standing for election at NFU Scotland’s AGM next month begin a nine-date tour of regional hustings tonight.

Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom deflected questions at the Oxford Farming Conference. Picture: Contributed

While Sir Ivan Rogers acts, Andrea Leadsom dodges issues

Anyone in the farming world who attended last week’s Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) probably left the event feeling a considerable amount of sympathy for Sir Ivan Rogers – the UK’s top civil servant in Brussels who resigned last week over the lack of political clarity on Brexit.

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Minette Batters said that a 'whole economy approach' was needed to overcome trade hurdles. Picture: Adam Fradgley

Farm subsidies and market access top post-Brexit agenda

Agricultural industries across the UK must unite to secure the fairest trade deals for the country’s farmers and food producers, according to English NFU deputy president Minette Batters.

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Back yard flock keepers are not exempt from the biosecurity measures. Picture: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Bird flu precautions must be applied to back yard flocks

Following on from the announcement that the order to house poultry and other birds is to be extended until the end of February, NFU Scotland has warned that the precautions designed to prevent spread of avian influenza applies to all flocks – be they large commercial units or back yard pets.

'Hope is not a strategy,' said the SNP's Calum Kerr. Picture: Contributed

Concerns over ‘one size fits all’ farm policy post-Brexit

The UK government is failing to understand the complexities of Brexit and how they could affect Scotland’s farming sector, an SNP politician warned yesterday.

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