Warwickshire Rural Hub
Introducing the new Animal Health and Welfare Pathway
Over the last couple of years a group of farmers, supported by vets, specialists and Defra colleagues, have worked together to design a way to help fellow farmers bolster the health and welfare of their stock, whilst at the same time improving their bottom line. The new project is called the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway. The programme is set to start in Spring 2022 with a vet visit which will be paid for by the government. They will undertake a health and welfare review of the farm, including diagnostic testing, to set the foundations for the journey along the Pathway. The initial focus will be on improving disease prevention and controlling or eradicating an industry agreed list of diseases in each species. Having completed this first step, farmers will continue along the Pathway supported by Animal Health and Welfare grants which will be launched later in 2022. Visit this page for further information on the new programme.
Free 1:1 expert advice clinics for SMEs
The Coventry & Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, in partnership with the Department for International Trade and the West Midlands Growth Hubs are running a series of virtual, 1:1 advice clinics with specialists in VAT, Customs & Logistics, Import & Supply Chains, GDPR & HR, so businesses can get the expert help they need to avoid disruption to trading. If your SME business is based in the West Midlands and is experiencing disruption caused by the end of the EU Exit Transition Period, or you have questions related to import/export topics, these clinics are for you.
Farm Business Innovation Show returns to the NEC on 10 – 11 November
The Farm Business Innovation show is the diversification and innovation event for farmers and landowners who want to make more money from their land. There will be over 1,000 exhibitors and 500 seminars at the show, and tickets are free of charge. To learn all about the key notes speakers, the opportunities for diversification and the newest products and services available for land-based industries and how to book your ticket, please visit this page.
Warwickshire RABI fundraising event – Sunday 3 October
Warwickshire RABI invite you to attend a:
Vintage Machinery Open Afternoon
on Sunday 3 October between 2.00pm – 5.00pm
by kind permission of Martin and and Angela Wadland
Three Shires Farm, Lower Boddington, NN11 6XX
£5 entry with tea and cakes available
Donations are welcome
Advice on establishing a herbal ley from AHDB
From seedbed preparation to post-establishment management, read some tips from AHDB on how best to establish a successful herbal ley.
The three drivers for land purchases you may not have considered
Across the country, the Carter Jonas agency team has noticed a new wave of buyers. They want the land, but they don’t necessarily want it for traditional reasons. They want the land’s potential to deliver an alternative income, escapism, or sometimes both. The value assigned to small blocks of land has dramatically increased in recent months and there has never been a better time to sell small blocks of woodland. Read this report from RuSource to discover the new drivers for land purchases and how farmers can meet the new requirements of buyers.
Demystifying farm carbon offsetting with the Farm Carbon Toolkit
There’s a rise in farmers and landowners interested in getting paid for carbon sequestration. The Farm Carbon Toolkit (FCT)help farmers to measure, understand and act on their greenhouse gas emissions. As a farmer-led organisation, the FCT’s mission is to help farmers become knowledgeable and empowered on this topic. They are urging farmers to recognise the risks that exist around these schemes and ask tough questions to any organisation seeking to “buy” carbon. This article sets out the three watch-outs for farmers selling their carbon offsets.
Watch answers to farmers’ questions on the Sustainable Farming Incentive
The Farming Forum recently held a question and answer session with Janet Hughes, Defra’s Future Farming and Countryside Programme Director, on the Sustainable Farming Incentive. Clive Bailye, Director of the Farming Forum, put the most-asked questions to Janet. This video is the first of two showing Janet answering the questions. The video is 23 minutes long. Watch it here.
Launch of new digital assistant with environmental, analytical and financial modules
The newly launched digital assistant, Sandy by Trinity Agtech, includes a water protection module with sustainability assessment and planning capabilities covering carbon, biodiversity and agroforestry. Sandy saw its commercial launch on 9 August 2021 and is underpinned by the latest science and peer-reviewed field research. The new software complements the UK Government’s recent expansion of the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) programme to improve water and air quality in high priority areas. The criteria used by Sandy can demonstrate the nitrogen-leaching progress for the current calendar year, set thresholds, and can track the historic yearly weighted average of nitrate leaching. Farmers can also gain an understanding of the cumulative financial value lost through excess nitrogen leached through the module. To find out more about Sandy please visit the Trinity Agtech website.
Keep up to speed with the agricultural transition with the Future Farming Advice team
Undertake a basic farm business review with AHDB
If you are looking to grow or change your business, a good place to start is to review your farm accounts. To undertake a basic business review, you will need your most recent copy of trading accounts. The Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board developed a process which will help you review your farm accounts and understand your business costs, profit and cash. Visit this page for full details.
The top 5 causes for tractor breakdowns – and how to prevent them
Machine Guard has identified the top 5 causes of tractor breakdowns as being:
- External hydraulics
- Operator environment
But what can you do to prevent a breakdown? Read this article for some advice on how to keep your tractor on the move and mitigate a costly and frustrating repair visit.
Read an update from Defra on existing schemes and the development of new schemes
Defra has published an update blog on progress made on improving existing schemes and services, the design and launch of new schemes and how they are working to support prosperity in the agricultural sector. You can read the update here.
Contact your local MP to support the NFU message on issues with labour availability
The NFU is aware of increasing pressure points on labour availability in the wider supply chain. Haulage, drivers, process and packing and hospitality are all areas of concern, with haulage/driver shortages being particularly acute. The NFU has been co-ordinating with other trade bodies and relevant contacts to address these issues due to the on-farm impact. They have also been raising these issues with government. NFU is asking farmers to consider backing up their message to government by contacting their local MP via this online form, setting out how labour shortages in the wider supply chain have been impacting on-farm production. Farmers may also wish to set out the effects of any on farm labour shortages they are experiencing since the end of free movement.
Put forward your views on antimicrobial use and raise funds for a farming charity
Deliberation around antimicrobial use in farming is increasing. The James Hutton institute is taking part in a large EU project on the subject and seeking views from as many livestock farmers as possible regarding the way antimicrobials are presently used and how they may be used in the future. To enable a better understanding of farmers’ experiences and views, livestock farmers, farm partners and farm employees are invited to complete an anonymous survey which takes up to 30 minutes. There will be a donation of £5 to the farmer’s selected farming charity for each completed survey. Complete the survey by following this link.
Do you farm near Blockley, Cherington or Sutton under Brailes?
Severn Rivers Trust is working with Shipston Area Flood Action Group on a new phase of an award-winning project in the Stour catchment aimed at improving habitat and reducing flooding. They are offering whole farm plans, giving recommendations on natural flood management and water improvement measures, as well as habitat creation. Funding is available for ponds, wetlands, leaky dams, tree planting, rainwater harvesting, covers crops and much more! To learn more or book a free and confidential whole farm plan, please get in touch with Alys Routley on 07923 220 393 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know a young Warwickshire farmer who deserves recognition?
Supported by Warwickshire Agricultural Society, Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society has introduced a new award this year, the Young Farmer of the Year. They are looking for a young farmer who deserves recognition for their work within the agricultural industry. Applicants have to be under the age of 30 as at 30th September 2021, currently working in agriculture and living in the county of Warwickshire
KADAS is looking for someone who is able to demonstrate a real knowledge of their area of agriculture, who has a great work ethic, is proactive and forward thinking and is a great ambassador for farming and agriculture in the U.K. You can either nominate someone, or put yourself forward.
Entries close on 30th September 2021. The winner will be announced in December and presented with a trophy and £200 prize at the 2022 Kenilworth show on Saturday 4th June. The award is supported and sponsored by Brian Dalby and The Warwickshire Agricultural Society. Visit this page to nominate your entry to the award.
Livestock farmers urged to register details with Severn Trent
Severn Trent is asking livestock farmers to register their details with them so that ST can better identify those farms most at risk from drought and put in plans to react swiftly should a water shortage arise. Farmers can also sign up to the Site Risk and Sensitivities Scheme (SRSS) here if the farm’s SIPD number is known: Alternatively, express interest by emailing email@example.com. As part of this scheme, Severn Trent is asking farmers to share as much detail about the farm, its water needs and what water storage is available on site. Farmers can also register to receive weather warnings and updates on incidents in their local areas.
Revised Red Tractor standards equip British farms for the future
The UK’s largest food standards assurance scheme has released details of its new standards for members which apply from 1 November 2021. For the first time in its history, Red Tractor consulted with all of its 46,000 members and the entire food supply chain. Over 3,000 pieces of feedback were received. To read about the key changes in each sector please visit this page.
Read farming statistics for 2020 in Agriculture in the UK
The Defra booklet Agriculture in the UK is an annual publication which contains an extensive range of data including farm incomes, land use, livestock numbers, prices, production of key commodities (e.g. wheat, milk, vegetables), overseas trade, organic farming and the environment. The information is used widely by government, industry, researchers and other stakeholders to support policy monitoring and development. View your copy on this page.
Read all about living mulches with the Innovative Farmers
A permanent living mulch comprised of clover amongst other plant species could provide many benefits; soil cover year-round, as well as living roots, nitrogen fixing and weed suppression. No-till and reduced till drilling are also possible directly into the mulch saving time, fuel, and labour. But the mulch will need managing correctly, and it is important to chose the right crop. Read all about living mulches on the Innovative Farmers website.
Could your school or community host a tiny forest?
As the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Official Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is creating 72 Tiny Forests in urban areas across the West Midlands. Each Tiny Forest will link to one of the nations and territories competing at the Games. A Tiny Forest is a dense and fast-growing native woodland, typically the size of a tennis court. They are ideal for urban spaces, creating an oasis for plants, insects, birds and small mammals, and supporting the well-being of people too. Each forest needs to be retained for 35 years and be easily accessible to residents or school children. You can read all about the scheme on this leaflet. TinyForest FAQ.APP Further details are also available on this website link.
Access free business support with the Future Farming Resilience Fund
The Future Farming Resilience Fund is designed to provide business support to farmers and land managers during the early years of the agricultural transition. The support will be available, free of charge, from August onwards to any farmer or land manager currently in receipt of direct payments. Nineteen organisations have been awarded a contract to deliver the business support across the UK. The support should help individual farmers and land managers to learn more about:
- the impact of reductions to direct payments on their business
- how their business models might need to adapt
- business planning
- performance recording
- succession planning
Visit this page to read the contact details for the list of providers for Warwickshire.
NFU responds to the launch of the National Food Strategy
National Farmers’ Union has responded to the release of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy, which will advise the government ahead of its White Paper on the issue. NFU believes the Strategy should act as a wake-up call for us all that we need to value the food we eat. You can read the full NFU response on this page.
To download a copy of the National Food Strategy, please visit this page.
Break free from environmental jargon with the Prince’s Countryside Fund glossary of terms
Speaking at the Farmers Weekly awards at the start of 2021 HRH The Prince of Wales, set a challenge – to explain terms and practices linked to the environment in straightforward language. So, the Prince’s Countryside Fund has created A-Zero: A farmer’s guide to breaking free from environmental jargon. The booklet is aimed at farmers and hopes to ensure that the ambitions around improving the management of the UK’s environment are accessible to all. Visit this page to download the booklet.
Transitioning to reduced tillage
Progress update on Agricultural Transition Plan
On 30 June 2021 Defra published a progress update on the Agricultural Transition Plan which sets out the changes they are making to agricultural policy in England. It covers further details of the early roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive ahead of the scheme opening in Spring 2022. This includes eligibility and how farmers can be rewarded through the scheme. Visit this page for full information. You can calculate the progressive reductions in your direct payments currently paid through BPS on this page.
Register your interest in helping Defra to shape future policies and schemes
Defra is inviting farmers to help them shape future policies and schemes to ensure that they work for them, with research and co-design opportunities. To register your interest in taking part in the scheme please visit this page.
New guidelines to prevent glyphosate resistance
New practical glyphosate application guidelines, by the Weed Resistance Action Group (WRAG), will help arable growers reduce the increasing risk of glyphosate resistance developing in grass weeds. The guidelines have been updated in 2021 following five years of ADAS research into optimising the effectiveness of glyphosate on arable weeds to help prevent resistance. Read more here.
New app to help you manage your hedgerows
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species has launched the Healthy Hedgerows app, a rapid hedgerow health checking survey. With just a handful of questions, this hedgerow health-checker will place each hedge you survey in the lifecycle and give you instant management options. It has been designed for farmers and landowners that want to understand their whole hedge network and create a hedge management plan at the farm scale. By answering just a handful of simple questions, it can help you understand where each hedge is in its natural lifecycle, and work out how best to manage it. Visit this page to read more and download the app.
Read how to help pollinators on your farm
The European Innovation Partnership (Wales) has written a handy guide showing farmers how they can help pollinators to thrive on their land. The booklet contains 6 case studies. To read the booklet click here.
New tool to estimate nitrate losses
The Environment Agency has developed a tool to estimate annual losses of nitrate (N) at the field and farm scale using data provided by farmers during farm visits. The tool will help the Environment Agency and farmers to identify more sustainable farming practices that prevent environmental pollution. The Nitrate Leaching Tool (NLT) models N losses that could occur as a direct result of individual farm practices and evaluates a range of leaching measures that farmers can put in place. The NLT helps farmers, their advisors, environmental regulators and water companies to discuss these issues and promotes a collaborative approach for identifying solutions. Visit this page for full information.
Using greening features on your farm to benefit your business and the environment
In 2021, the greening requirements previously attached to 30% of farmers’ Basic Payment Scheme payment came to an end. Farming Advice Service has provided information on how the existing greening features on your farm can be retained to benefit your business and the environment. The article has been produced in collaboration with Championing the Farmed Environment. Read more here.
Calculate your business labour efficiency with AHDB
Assessing the needs of your workplace labour requirements is crucial. It will help you retain current staff and help recruit the right people for the future. You will also identify where training might be helpful to plug skills gaps. The AHDB calculator is easy to use and should only take around 20 minutes to complete. You can use the calculator to find out where you can make improvements to your business labour needs and it is recommended that you use the calculator every year to compare your progress. Visit this page for further information.
Website to track bovine TB outbreaks
The Animal and Plant Health Agency has launched an online interactive mapping tool for ongoing and resolved TB breakdowns in England and Wales over the past 10 years. The site can be used to find out about the bovine TB situation in your local area, and when purchasing cattle. Visit the site here.
Launch of two new farmer networks in Warwickshire
The Warwickshire Rural Hub is pleased to announce the launch of two new sustainable farming groups in Warwickshire. We already work closely with the Arden Farm Wildlife Network and we will be working closely with these two new groups. One group will cover the south Warwickshire area (south of the A46 and west of M40) and one group will cover the Leam and Upper Avon area (east of the M40 and up to Rugby and across to Coventry and Nuneaton). These groups have been set up with the help of local organisations and farmers, with the aim of helping farmers adapt to future schemes and move to more sustainable methods of agriculture. The groups will be free to join and farmer-led so you will decide what you want to learn about. The groups could cover any subject including;
- Sustainable / regenerative farming methods
- Prepare for the future of landscape scale support post BPS
- Environmental schemes
- Net Zero
- Managing wildlife habitats and conservation mixes
If you are interested in joining either group please contact Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidance for seasonal agricultural workers coming to the UK for work
Seasonal agricultural workers from overseas (edibles only) coming to England for longer than 2 days will need to take a mandatory workplace, community or home lateral flow device (LFD) test on or before days 2, 5 and 8 after their arrival. Workers can continue to work during their quarantine on the farm for 10 days. For the full list of government guidance please visit this page.
New BASIS certificate in lowland game management launched by GWCT
BeeConnected – helping farmers and bee keepers to work together
BeeConnected is a free, web-based system where you register as either a bee keeper or grower. Through using the anonymous online mapping system bee keepers record the location of their hives and farmers register where and when they plan to spray fields. Bee keepers registered through BeeConnected will then receive notifications of any upcoming spraying happening within 5km of their hives. Click here for more information and to register.
AHDB machinery costing calculator
Calculate the cost of farm machinery, per hectare or per hour, with a simple calculator available for download on the AHDB website. The tool can also be used to compare the costs of owning equipment with the cost of hiring it or getting in a contractor. Different machinery systems can also be compared and repair costs can be calculated for budgeting purposes.
Measure your farm performance with the AHDB KPI Express
Understanding how your farm business is performing is critical. It’s fundamental to making decisions on how to improve performance. It helps you know where you are now, supports setting future targets and seeing how actual performance measures up against these targets. A new tool from AHDB provides a core set of Key Performance Indicators to use as the starting point to understand how your farm business is performing. Visit this page to use the KPI Express tool.
Read benchmarking of crop performances with AHDB
Farmbench was launched by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board over 4 years ago and since that date they have examined nearly 7,900 crop enterprise performance results from the 2017 to 2020 harvest years for conventionally grown combinable, potato and sugar beet crops.
- Of the combinable crops, winter wheat and oilseed rape returned the biggest margins of all the crops based on all four years in the top 25% performers
- Farmbench users confirmed that winter combinable crops are more profitable than combinable spring crops
- Apart from linseed all other top 25% performing crops produced a positive 4-year average net margin
- For the middle 50% of performers, only winter oats and wheat returned a positive margin.
cottages.com seeks new holiday cottages in Warwickshire
Do you own a holiday cottage? Choosing the right people to let your holiday home is incredibly important, but you can rest assured that with decades of experience helping thousands of owners like you get the most from their holiday homes, Warwickshire Rural Hub business supporter cottages.com makes the whole experience enjoyable, hassle-free and most of all, a success. Due to increased bookings in 2021 they are now seeking more holiday homes in Warwickshire.
Cottages.com is home to a unique family of specialist property collections. By joining them, your property will automatically be marketed on cottages.com – the UK’s most popular cottage holiday website, as well as through a handpicked selection of their collections. A local expert who lives in the area will work with you to decide which collections are the best fit for your property, showcasing it in the right way to maximise every possible booking opportunity and delivering you more income. For a FREE guide to letting in Warwickshire and beyond visit: www.cottages.com/let-your-property or call Sarah on 07813 341 562.
Read some tips from a cattle handling expert
Globally respected animal behaviourist Professor Temple Grandin from Colorado State University shares her extensive knowledge about handling cattle and gives you some top tips that can be quickly adopted on farm. Read the full article here.
The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board also has a publication entitled “Improving cattle handling for better returns”. Download your copy here.
Agricultural transition – watch a PCF webinar on getting ready for change
Prince’s Countryside Fund and McDonald’s hosted a webinar on 9 March 2021 which covered what’s happening in England under Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan, what this means in practical terms for farmers and simple next steps that farm businesses can take to prepare themselves. The webinar was delivered by Kite Consultants who also answered questions on the agricultural transition from farm businesses. McDonald’s and PCF hosted this webinar as part of their Ready for Change programme. Aimed at farmers who’ve participated in The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, Ready for Change equips farm businesses with the tools to adapt their activities and make sensible, informed decisions about their businesses. Since September 2020, 37 farm businesses have taken part in the workshop. You can watch a recording of the webinar on this page.
Forces Farming – helping ex-forces personnel to find a new career in agriculture
Retired forces personnel can often have many skills which are very transferable to farming – and they are also used to working outdoors in all weathers! Their forces training means that veterans will also be punctual, thrive on routine, be safety conscious and be used to physical work. If you are a farming business which would be interested in hosting an insight day, offering some work experience or even a longer placement to a forces veteran please visit the Forces Farming website for information on how to register your interest.
Recycle your farm plastic with the Green Tractor scheme
Green Tractor’s aim is to provide UK agriculture with the ability to recycle all farm plastic by 2030. They operate on a not-for-profit basis. The Green Tractor Scheme provides sustainable solutions for plastic used across all sectors of agriculture in the UK. The scheme is primarily focused on the collection and processing of waste farm plastic. Although agricultural plastics only represent 3% of the total plastics used in the UK, it is important that this high-profile sector continues to improve producer responsibility. The Green Tractor Scheme covers the significant majority of the UK’s collectors and provides shared responsibility for farm plastic across the entire supply chain. The first plastic recycling survey shows that 19,974 tonnes of plastic was collected in 2018 and 24,149 tonnes was collected in 2019. Most of the plastic was sent for recycling with only 4% going to landfill. To find out how to join the scheme please visit the Green Tractor website.
New bank Oxbury is launched which puts farmers first
Addington Fund seeks building land for development of retirement homes
The farming charity Addington Fund is looking to buy a limited number of retirement homes for farmers who want to retire but cannot contemplate it on financial grounds. These can be purchased out right by Addington or on a shared equity basis using a declaration of trust agreement. If you would like more information, please call Sue English on 01926 620135 opt 2 or email email@example.com
The charity is also looking to create the first Addington Fund owned retirement cul-de-sac for retired farmers and agriculturists. They are looking for a suitable development of up to five houses/bungalows in a suitable rural location with sympathetic like-minded partners as a builder or a landowner. Addington Fund is happy to assist with planning applications. Please contact Bill Young on 07909 538426 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Read the statistics on farm business income in England 2019/20
Defra has published its annual statistics on farm business income in England for 2019/20. The figures represents the financial return to all unpaid labour on their capital invested in the farm business, including land and buildings. It is designed to compare performance across different types of farming. The average Farm Business Income in 2019 /20 was £46,000. A combination of reduced prices and increased costs led to lower incomes, with output virtually unchanged. Read the full report here.
Working towards net zero emissions for beef farmers
Farming for a Better Climate has produced some practical guides on how farmers can reduce carbon emissions from beef production. Visit this page to read the guides.
Nature Friendly Farming Network publish a guide to net zero carbon in farming
Net zero carbon refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere. Achieving net zero is required to meet the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperatures below a 1.5°C rise above pre-industrial levels. To achieve the scale of change needed, action must be taken now to reduce emissions and lay the foundations for the longer-term transformation required. In order to help farmers achieve net zero targets Nature Friendly Farming Network has created a practical guide for farmers.
New opportunity for farmers – Arden Farm Wildlife Network
Are you a farmer in the Arden area of Warwickshire interested in:
• Getting support to help you with managing the options in your environmental schemes.
• Keeping up to date with the changes in environmental support and different channels of funding available.
• Improving your farm for wildlife with low cost methods – that can benefit your business too.
• Finding more about what wildlife you have got on your farm?
The Arden Farm Wildlife Network could help you!
If you would like further details then please give Zoe Bell a call or drop her an email.
The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group has produce “A guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and slug control”.
To view the guide use the link below.
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Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
Marcus Faulkner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
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