Farming

Farming

Farm incomes slashed by almost 50% in one year

Farm incomes plummeted by almost 50 per cent during 2015-16, leaving almost two thirds of farmers earning well below the legal minimum wage.

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Barley is the UK's second most important crop. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Genome map to play ‘key role’ in barley breeding

The completion of a project to map the barley genome will play a major role in helping breeders produce varieties better able to withstand pests and disease and deal with adverse environmental conditions such as drought and heat stress.

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The president of the British Society of Animal Science will warn over Brexit threats to farming. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

‘UK must change policy or risk farming’s future’

The UK government should use the Brexit break from European agricultural policy as an opportunity to change its approach to farming because if it does not do so, it could put the future of UK food production at risk.

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Fergus Ewing claimed the Treasury had 'no enthusiasm' to continue direct payments to farmers. Picture: John Devlin

Fergus Ewing attacks post-Brexit agricultural policy

It could be another five years after the UK exits the European Union before a new agricultural policy is in place, Fergus Ewing, the cabinet secretary for rural affairs and connectivity, has warned.

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Calum Kerr also questioned Defra's ability to deliver a coherent farm policy. Picture: Contributed

Calum Kerr MP hits out over farm funding delays

As the war of words between Holyrood and Westminster over who controls farm policy hots up ahead of the general election, it has been claimed that the UK government is using Brexit to kick the long-standing convergence uplift issue into the long grass.

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Not a single tenancy was agreed between a willing landowner and a hopeful tenant in Scotland last year. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Mistrust between landowners and tenants is growing

Scotland’s pick ‘n’ mix offering of farm tenancy legislation, introduced with declining degrees of confidence over the past 18 years by changing Holyrood governments, has failed.

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SRUC chairman Pat Machray, left, and vice-chairman Sandy Cumming flank college principal Wayne Powell. Picture: Contributed

Rural college looks to future with ambitious strategy

Scotland’s Rural College has laid out a future strategy that builds on the links between its three main legs; education, research and consultancy advice.

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Dairy farmers have until 1 May to apply for the support funds. Picture: John Devlin

Dairy farmers urged to apply for £4,000 EU support

Only one in five dairy farmers in Scotland has so far applied for cash sums of up to £4,000 from an EU scheme aimed at counteracting low milk prices last year.

Farming
From left: NFU Scotland policy director Jonnie Hall, farm minister George Eustice, Scottish secretary David Mundell, Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom, NFUS vice-president Gary Mitchell, president Andrew McCornick and parliamentary officer Clare Slipper. Picture: Contributed

Scottish farming leaders hold talks at Westminster

Yesterday, in a Brexit-dominated day, as Scottish ministers were complaining to the Scottish Parliament rural economy committee that they were posing questions to their counterparts in Westminster but were getting no response, Scottish NFU leaders were meeting those same UK government ministers in London.

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BVD-infected cattle can spread the disease to others. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Farmers pushed to cull ‘persistent infected’ cattle

With the disease now present on fewer than one in ten farms in many parts of Scotland, the nation-wide programme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is about to get tough on those who do not cull animals which risk spreading the virus.

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NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said it was 'vital' for farming interests to be heard in the election campaign. Picture: Contributed

Union leaders seek answers on post-Brexit farming

While claiming that the Prime Minister’s decision to call a snap general election for 8 June raised more questions than answers over Brexit, farming bodies have promised to use the next seven weeks to press home the needs of the industry to politicians.

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NFU Scotland urged farmers to tell their MEPs about the importance of glyphosate. Picture: John Devlin

NFU Scotland launches campaign to save ‘key’ herbicide

A major campaign to press home the safety and benefits of the world’s most widely used herbicide, glyphosate – and the key role it plays in crop production in this country – was launched by NFU Scotland on a Borders farm yesterday.

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Civil war has brought only misery to Syria's farmers. Picture: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Syria’s crop production badly wounded by a brutal war

They say that in war truth is the first casualty – and the news coming out of Syria, with the daily twists and turns, concealments and revelations, claims and counter-claims, does little to contradict this belief.

Farming
Rural areas are among the worst for digital connectivity. Picture: Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Taxing problems persist for rural online returns

If the Scottish Government’s farm support IT system wasn’t enough to make Scotland’s farmers rue the day that computers were invented then the UK government’s plans to “make tax digital” might just push them over the edge.

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SEFARI aims to improve access to environmental and agricultural data. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Institutes aim to boost environment and farm data

Gaining greater access to the latest publicly funded environmental and agricultural research carried out in Scotland will be encouraged and simplified with the launch of a one-stop-shop for information flow and knowledge exchange, it has been claimed.

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Income for last year's HIghland Show was up sharply on 2015. Picture: Toby Williams

£2m ‘behind-the-scenes’ work for Royal Highland Show

The organisers of Scotland’s largest outdoor event have poured more than £2 million into improvements on their 200-acre Ingliston site but visitors to this year’s Highland Show will hardly see where the money has gone.

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If the IT system was a tractor, it would have been returned to the dealer for a refund, said NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick. Picture: Contributed

Scrap £180m farm payments system, urges NFUS president

The Scottish Government has invested £180 million in the computer system responsible for farm payments but NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick claims this “expensive and badly functioning” piece of equipment should be consigned to the scrapheap.

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Forestry is now an active choice for many farmers. Picture: Neil Hanna

Bridging the gap between agriculture and forestry

Farming and forestry have traditionally been at odds over the use of land but moves are being made to bridge the gap by increased forestry grants for landowners facing an otherwise uncertain rural future.

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Andrew McCornick says simple steps can prevent accidents on the farm. Picture: Contributed

‘One death is one too many’ says NFU Scotland president

As the pressure builds with spring work well under way throughout Scotland, farmers, crofters and those working across the industry have been urged to take simple precautions to keep from adding to accident statistics.

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Farmgate pig prices are up sharply on 2016 levels, according to Quality Meat Scotland. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Pigmeat prices on the rise despite soaring feed costs

Farmgate pig prices have strengthened in recent weeks following a period of downwards seasonal pressure at the beginning of 2017 – but they still have a way to go to reach the levels of March 2014, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

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