Support on offer in face of falling farm-gate prices

Free business support and one-to-one guidance packages will be available to small family farms suffering in the face of falling farm-gate prices under a new scheme launched by the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Fund.

Growers of oilseed rape were urged to get involved. Picture: Contributed

Grain growers told to show commitment to technology

A call has been made for Scottish grain growers to show they are serious about being a forward-looking industry, and that they are willing to commit to new technology and communication channels which offer real benefits to their businesses.

NFU Scotland has urged farmers to find an alternative to Velactis. Picture: John Devlin

Dairy industry told to stop using Velactis drug

Dairy farmers were yesterday urged to stop using Velactis – a drug used in the abrupt drying-off in dairy cows – following its suspension by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

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The project aims to improve lamb survival rates by 5%. Picture: Ian Georgeson

College’s bid to save more lambs to be put to test

A new initiative aimed at improving lamb survival rates across sheep farms in Scotland will see some of the most recent research findings tested in both the field and the lambing shed.

The Soil Association has lobbied for glyphosate to be banned. Picture: Contributed

Bread firms urged to avoid glyphosate-treated crops

Just weeks after the widely used weedkiller glyphosate was granted interim reapproval by the European Commission for 18 months, a call has been made for UK bread firms and supermarkets to avoid wheat crops which had been treated with the spray in the run-up to harvest.

Long-standing trade relationships will help Scotch Beef. Picture: Contributed

Reputation of Scots meat will protect it post-Brexit

The work put in by all ­sectors of the Scottish red meat industry into building strong brands and ­producing top quality products have earned the trade an iconic global ­reputation which will stand it in good stead in the post-Brexit world.

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EU farm commissioner Phil Hogan. Picture: Contributed

EU emergency package to dish out €30m funding boost

UK farmers will get a €30 million (£25.1m) share of a new €500m EU emergency support package – aimed chiefly at the dairy sector – farm commissioner Phil Hogan has announced.

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Tesco has been criticised over its fake farm labelling. Picture: Graham Smith

Trading Standards label complaint backed by NFUS

NFU Scotland yesterday gave its backing to the move taken by its English counterpart to lodge an official complaint with the National Trading Standards Institute over ­supermarkets’ use of “fake” farm names on some food products.

A house in the countryside is a cherished dream for many. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Houses are a cash crop that needs careful handling

A visit to Ireland a few years ago provided a striking testimony to that country’s relaxed attitude to building houses in the countryside. In some areas, every field seemed to have a new house plonked in the middle of it.

Projects included the latest work on raspberry research. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Crop scientists believe research links will continue

Despite the EU’s prominent role in funding agricultural research in the UK, Scottish scientists remained upbeat about the future at one of the country’s leading institutes yesterday.

Andrea Leadsom replaces Liz Truss at Defra. Picture: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

NFUS says Andrea Leadsom ‘must hit the ground running’

Andrea Leadsom, who stood down as Theresa May’s opponent in the Conservative leadership contest at the beginning of this week, has been appointed as the new secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs.

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The STFA said life outside the CAP could provide more flexibility. Picture: John Devlin

Brexit could see a more flexible farm support system

Life outside the EU could allow sufficient flexibility in agricultural policy to finally do away with slipper farmers, it has been claimed.

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Various factors have influenced changes in acreage. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Scottish barley plantings drop, but UK figures rise

While the area of spring barley grown across the UK has shown a jump of 6 per cent on the year, the figures for Scotland show a drop of 5 per cent in plantings, to just 243,000ha, similar to 2010.

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Demand for organic food is growing again. Picture: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Producers must make most of demand for organic food

The drop in organic food being sold during the country’s economic recession was not due to a reduced demand from consumers but because the major retailers removed organically produced food from their shelves, according to Paul Moore of the Organic Trade Board.

Potato production has not benefited from technological advances. Picture: Contributed

Radical proposals could reinvent potato production

The ambition behind the setting up a Monitor potato farm in Scotland was challenging traditional methods of production by bridging the gap between proven research and current on-farm working practices.

Latest figures show no change in the number of dairy herds in Scotland. Picture: John Devlin

Dairy herd numbers steady despite woes afflicting sector

Despite the well-documented troubles of the sector, figures just released show that the number of dairy herds in Scotland has remained static over the past six months.

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Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone. Picture: Contributed

Landowners want CAP replacement action now

While new policy measures and continued farm support will be required to ensure a healthy and prosperous rural sector post-Brexit, decision-makers should grasp the opportunity to improve on the performance achieved under the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP).

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Defra's Liz Truss said a 'Plan B' was not needed. Picture: Matt Cardy/PA Wire

Thinking CAPs on for a plan to support farming

More than two weeks after the country voted to shake the dust of European Union membership from its feet, there’s still only one talking point among farmers at markets, shows and meetings around the country.

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Upland sheep farmers have received no cash yet. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Union protests at delay in upland sheep payments

Not only are Scotland’s sheep producers suffering from the non-delivery of new support measures targeted at hill farmers, but vital improvements are required to fine-tune the scheme ahead of the next application period, it was claimed this week.

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The farming industry has a poor health and safety record. Picture: Contributed

Figures reveal 33 deaths across farming sector last year

Despite campaigns to reduce the number of accidents in farming, the industry continues to have one of the poorest safety records among all industries.

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