21/10/19 Future of weed control; electric weeder; pink apples
As weeds become increasingly resistant to the chemicals farmers have used to control them, new techniques are needed according to Dr Nicola Cannon at the Royal Agrcultural University. She's organising a weed event to show farmers what's possible.
Farmers in Herefordshire have been testing out an electric weeder as part of a event organised by the Soil Association’s Innovative Farmers project. It kills the weed by sending an electric current through the leaves to the roots.
All week we're looking at top fruit. We start with a new variety of pink apple, the first of its kind to be grown commercially in the UK. It's called Flanders Pink and has been planted by growers in Kent.
Farming Today This Week: Rural services (in a pub)
Charlotte Smith abandons her muddy wellies and heads to The Winterbourne pub in Winterbourne Bassett which was bought in 2018 by a group of community owners who wanted to put the pub back into the heart of the community. Winterbourne Bassett comprises of some 60 houses and has no banks, no post office or any bus service, and Howard Witt from the community group says that when the original pub shut down in 2017 the village became dead. He and the committee raised over £300,000 to buy and renovate the pub. Reg Clarke from the organisation Pub is the Hub talks about how he helped with advice and finding grant funding, and the importance of finding professional licensees, and Reg and Howard explain why the services of an I.T. hub and a children's playground that is available for all to use were the appropriate starting point for this new venture. Emie Hawkshaw, who runs the pub with her husband Roger, tells Charlotte why they decided to take the pub on, how they cope without a bank nearby, and what they hope to do in the future.
Presenter: Charlotte Smith
Producer: Toby Field
18/10/19 Brexit deal; Brexit Party conference; Archbishop and community cafe; rural transport
What could Boris Johnson's Brexit deal mean for food, farming, fishing and the environment? An expert - Dr Steven McCabe, associate professor at the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University - gives us his analysis.
As part of our tour around all the main party conferences we hear from The Brexit Party. It hasn't actually held a conference. It's putting on a series of meetings all round the country. We ask farmer and prospective parliamentary candidate for The Brexit Party in North Devon, Dawn Westcott, about her policies and what she makes of the deal.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been visiting a touring cafe which brings farmers together and makes them fell less isolated. We join him on the Butty Van, a community project in Herefordshire and Shropshire .
As part of our week-long look at rural services, we talk about rural public transport. The campaign group the Rural Services Network describes it as 'on its knees' with services virtually non-existent in many deep rural areas. Dr Gary Bosworth from Lincoln University says new technology, like aps to book a bus, could be a solution.
17/10/19: Falling demand for beef, SNP rural policy, Rural schools
The beef industry is coming under pressure - the amount of beef eaten over the summer by fell by 14% and the Scottish beef herd is at its lowest level since the 1950s. Anna Hill asks Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London David Hughes what the causes of this drop might be and whether there are opportunities for beef to be sold more widely beyond the shores of the UK. She also asks Drew Hendry from the Scottish National Party for his view on the Scottish beef industry and more widely about the SNP's rural policy. All this week Farming Today is looking at rural services and Caz Graham's been to a small primary school in the Yorkshire Dales that has had to battle for its future.
Presenter: Anna Hill
Producer: Toby Field
16/10/19 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and rural banks
Charlotte Smith visits the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to hear about the future of farming. She speaks to Brett Begemann from Bayer Crop Science and early-stage agri-tech innovators Angie Curtis from Roboscientific and Veena Adityan from Smartbell.
As part of this week's look at the issues surrounding rural services, today we focus on Ceredigion in Wales, where five towns in the county have lost all of their banks.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.