17/01/20: Future of farming after the Agriculture Bill; Protein for pigs
The new Agriculture Bill currently going through Parliament could see the biggest changes to farming in two generations. There is also speculation about what it might mean for the future of Defra itself - could it be restructured or merged with another government department? Charlotte Smith finds out.
Continuing a week-long look at the pig industry, we hear about efforts farmers are making to reduce their reliance on imported soya as a source of protein in pig feed.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Emma Campbell.
16/01/20 - The new Agriculture Bill, pig welfare and tail docking
The Agriculture Bill is back in Parliament. It sets out the system which will replace the Common Agriculture Policy after Brexit. The 7 year transition will start next year, so out go payments based on how much land a farmer has and in comes "public money for public goods". There have been some changes to the Bill proposed in the last Parliament: soil quality is now included as a public good, there's a plan to modernise agricultural tenancies and a 5 yearly review of food security has been introduced. Charlotte Smith quizzes the Secretary of State over the new Bill and asks about the future of DEFRA after the upcoming reshuffle.
Tail docking is a common but controversial practise on pig farms. It's done to prevent pigs biting each other's tails which can cause serious injuries. We visit a farm to find out why it's done. We also hear from a former pig vet who is now a vegan campaigner about pig welfare.
Presented by Charlotte Smith
Produced by Heather Simons
15/01/20 - High welfare pig farrowing pens, the return of Stormont, banning the badger cull and tree planting
On most indoor pig farms, sows that are about to give birth are put into a farrowing crate. It is designed to prevents the female pig from lying on her piglets and crushing them after she has given birth, but they are controversial because they restrict the sow's movement so she can stand and lie down, but not turn around. We visit a farm which is using a new type of pen, which gives the sow space to roam around while still providing protection for her piglets.
With the return of Stormont, we ask farmers in Northern Ireland want they want to see at the top of the Assembly's agenda.
Cheshire East Council has banned the badger cull on all council owned land. What do their tenant farmers make of the move?
And the current plan to create the Northern Forest involves 50 million trees being planted over 25 years between Hull and Liverpool. But some of the groups involved in the project say, more land and more volunteers are needed if it's to become a reality.
Presented by Anna Hill
Produced by Heather Simons
10/01/20: Day 3 at the Oxford Farming Conferences
At the end of a week when the UK farming world has descended on Oxford, Charlotte Smith rounds up the action from the two farming conferences which have been taking place in the city. She talks to delegates at both, and finds out what their highlights have been.
Produced by Emma Campbell.
14/01/20 Australian bushfires, pork labelling
Millions of hectares have been burnt in the Australian bushfires. While farmers count the cost, we hear whether there will be an impact on agricultural trade across the world.
We visit a pig farm in Wiltshire where the piglets are born outdoors but once they're weaned, brought inside to fatten up.
Pork labelling can be confusing. You may have seen 'outdoor bred' or 'outdoor reared' and some 'free range', and each of these labels means different things. Phil Brooke is Research and Education Manager at Compassion in World Farming, which has been campaigning for clearer food labelling. He explains what the different pork labels mean.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.