Farming News

Norfolk farm produce. Picture: Ian Burt

For Norfolk’s agricultural community, it presents an opportunity for investment, jobs and the promotion of the county’s food.

A field of potatoes being irrigated. Picture: James Bass

A spirit of compromise and co-operation can help keep vital supplies of water flowing to East Anglia’s farms – but only if farmers, environmentalists and other users can find common ground.

East Anglia rainfall, August 2016 - January 2017

A six-month period of below-average rainfall has left East Anglia’s groundwater supplies low – prompting concerns for resources should the region suffer a second dry winter.

Norfolk NFU chairman Tony Bambridge, managing director of B&C Farming at Marsham. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

A key spokesman for Norfolk agriculture is urging farmers to champion their industry as they prepare for life after Brexit.

The warning sign at Redgrave. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A bird cull being carried at a farm at Redgrave has been completed.

Steve Hart has won the title of national Pig Farmer of the Year. Picture: Ian Burt

A commitment to high-welfare production has helped an award-winning pig farmer win new export customers in the USA, farmers’ club members were told.

Riddlesworth free range chicken farmer Ben Chandler pictured in his free range egg store.

A free range egg producer from Riddlesworth, near Diss, has said he is “incredibly nervous of the future” after being caught up in a 10km surveillance zone set up around the Redgrave poultry farm at the centre of the latest bird flu outbreak.

James Debbage and Michelle Evans at Green Pastures in Bergh Apton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

East Anglian firms will compete for national titles after winning their regional categories in a rural business awards scheme.

Sugar beet haulier Billy Cornell is retiring after 45 years with the Euston Estate. Pictured with an engraved spade given to him as a retirement gift. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

After 45 years of loyalty to an East Anglian estate, a sugar beet haulier has handed over his trucking legacy to the contractor who harvests the farm’s crop.

British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) chief executive Robert Gooch.

There were calls for unity among free range egg producers this week as a split emerged over how to tackle the latest bird flu outbreak after it hit Suffolk for the first time.

Tom Saunders, Norfolk Young Farmers

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members, TOM SAUNDERS highlights the variety of influences which have shaped his farming career.

Culling of poultry at factory in Redgrave.

A cull of 23,000 birds at a poultry farm in Redgrave has begun.

Bird flu outbreak at Redgrave.

Preparations are under way to cull 23,000 birds at an East Anglian poultry farm after confirmation that the site is infected with a highly-pathogenic strain of bird flu.

BFREPA is urging DEFRA to reconsider the position in England on measures designed to contain a bird flu outbreak in the UK which are hitting free range producers.

A bird flu “postcode lottery” is putting free range egg businesses at risk, sector chiefs have warned.

Bird flu outbreak at Redgrave. Redgrave Community Shop volunteer David Maycock.

The village at the centre of East Anglia’s bird flu outbreak is surrounded by poultry businesses, and its inhabitants are no strangers to the disease threats to the industry, having witnessed a similar outbreak in 2007.

Norfolk sheep farmer Chris Lewis, who died in 2007.

Young livestock farmers have a chance to bid for a £5,000 prize in an awards scheme established in memory of an inspirational Norfolk stockman.

Avian flu suspected outbreak February 13, 2017

An estimated 23,000 birds are due to be slaughtered after a suspected outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm near Diss.

Stephany Hardingham, centre,  from Alder Tree, with Louise Petterson, left, and Sarah Nunn.

An ice cream maker, a beekeeper and a baker are celebrating after they were crowned county champions in a competition to find East Anglia’s top regional producer as shoppers cast their votes in record numbers.

Doeke Dobma of Clinks care farm and Grace, planting part of its new 900-tree orchard.

East Anglian care farmers are transforming an arable field into a 900-tree orchard and wildlife oasis as part of a diversification project.

Russet potatoes grown in East Anglia.

Frustrated potato farmers reporting “severe” payment deductions from processors and packers must be given more transparency on why they are being penalised, farmers’ leaders say.

The first lambs of spring have arrived at Church Farm in Stow Bardolph. Also pictured is Easton College student Phoebe Russell. Picture: Ian Burt

It’s a certain sign that spring is finally in the air – and after the arrival of the season’s first lambs, a west Norfolk farm park hopes many more will follow in time for half-term visitors.

Free range poultry producer Alaistaire Brice, who owns Havensfield Happy Hens.

An East Anglian free range egg producer is infuriated by “two-tier” new bird flu prevention rules, which he fears will punish some farmers while allowing others to return to normal operations.

Malcolm Easey, centre, flanked by his sons, Jon, left, and Chris.

A charismatic farming entrepreneur who played a major role in establishing Suffolk as an important centre for pig production has died at the age of 76.

Dereham Young Farmers' Club tractor road run, 2017

Dereham Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members are preparing to drive their tractors more than 200 miles around Norfolk, visiting the county’s 27 senior YFC and junior Countrysider clubs en route.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

The government offered too little support for farmers struggling due to late subsidy payments last year – a failure which “does not inspire confidence” in its ability to cope with the challenges of Brexit.

Mark Gorton of Traditional Norfolk Poultry, with some of his free-range chickens, pictured before the prevention zone was introduced. Photograph Simon Parker

Some poultry producers in East Anglia face “significant threats to their businesses” as new targeted bird flu prevention measures mean they could no longer label their products as free range.

Free range hens have been brought indoors under the current restrictions.

New bird flu restrictions to be imposed in ‘higher risk areas’, including a large swathe taking in most of the East Anglian coast and estuary areas and an inland section of north Suffolk and south Norfolk, could pose a threat to “a significant number” of free-range poultry producers, farmers’ leaders have warned.

Oliver and Charlotte Gurney have invested in six new commercial units at White House Farm in Sprowston.

A growing enterprise on the outskirts of Norwich has continued to diversify away from its fruit-farming roots by investing £600,000 in a courtyard of new business units.

Blight-resistant potato plants developed at the The Sainsbury Laboratory . Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich plant scientists have outlined plans for a field trial of genetically-modified (GM) potatoes which they believe could help defeat a major crop disease.

Chickens at a farm in East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Back-yard poultry keepers have been reminded of their legal responsibilities to help halt the spread of bird flu, following reports that some small flocks are flouting a preventative housing order.

Farm fields in Norfolk, pictured from the air by Mike Page.

A property agency has valued the combined worth of British farmland at £185.7bn in 2016 – and predicts a steady 5.5pc growth in land prices during the next five years.

Benedict Orchard,  environmental sustainability manager for Adnams.

Southwold brewer Adnams is toasting two silver awards for the way it runs its business.

John Alexander, Norfolk Young Farmers.

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members, JOHN ALEXANDER says he is excited about the prospect of farming in a post-Brexit world.

Clarke Willis MBE, (centre) CEO of Anglia Farmers, checks the local  coverage before the start of the Digital Divide Conference held at Newmarket, watched by MP Matthew Hancock (left) and George Freeman Mid Norfolk MP.

Norfolk and Suffolk still lag behind the national average for ‘superfast’ broadband coverage, but the government is committed to doing “everything we can” to get blanket coverage, campaigners were told today.

Norfolk Farming Conference 2017. From left: Joe Mitchell, Helen Reeve and Charles Shropshire.

A cross-section of East Anglian farmers used a major conference stage to showcase their generation’s hopes and fears as they head into an uncertain future outside the EU.

Lettuce has become the latest staple to fall victim to the European vegetable shortage

The notion that the availability of our food is at the mercy of the weather shouldn’t really come as a surprise.

Norfolk Farming Conference 2017 - Minette Batters, NFU Deputy President on stage with George Freeman MP.

The complexities – and opportunities – which Britain’s departure from the EU will bring for East Anglia’s farmers were discussed at a major annual conference in Norwich.

Alaistaire Brice, owns Havensfield Happy Hens.

An East Anglian free range egg producer fears his business would face “devastation” if it loses its status due to a bird flu ban.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) deputy president Tim Breitmeyer.

Landowners’ leaders are urging peers to call on government ministers to answer some of the key questions on Brexit faced by farmers and the rural economy.

Free range egg-laying hens have been brought inside following a DEFRA order imposed after an outbreak of bird flu in the wild bird population.

Farmers’ leaders are urging European Union decision-makers to extend the free-range status of poultry which had to be brought indoors following an outbreak of bird flu, warning some might otherwise go out of business.


The search is on to find Norfolk’s best agricultural apprentice for 2017.

Seagulls follow a tractor ploughing near Brampton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Britain’s young farmers need extra financial support to prevent market volatility and Brexit uncertainty prompting them to seek a new career path, according to a bank’s research.

Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency.

Rural Payments Agency chief executive Mark Grimshaw has announced he is stepping down from the organisation which administers the UK’s farm subsidy payments.

Potato lifting in a field at Terrington St Clement. Picture: Ian Burt

How does East Anglian farming achieve profitable production while remaining environmentally compliant? With Brexit on the horizon, this question will be the prevailing theme at the 2017 Norfolk Farming Conference.

 Flooded Salthouse Marshes

The tidal surge which swept along the East Anglian coast last month should serve as a warning to ensure enough funding is provided to protect farmland from extreme weather and flood risks.

Scenes from LAMMA 2017. Picture: Briefing Media/John Eveson

Improving commodity prices brought an air of positivity to one of East Anglia’s biggest shows machinery shows.

Spring barley growing at Gressenhall. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Farmers in East Anglia are being encouraged to join a growing movement towards spring cropping as a means of battling black-grass – and they have been urged to measure the risks against the rewards.

Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society wheat competition 2017. Pictured from left, winter wheat winner Robert Smart, chairman John Hall, Cecilia Pryce of Openfield, and spring wheat winner Martyn Cockerill.

The changing role of East Anglian farmers in an uncertain global market place means they need greater understanding of who their customers are before planting their crops.

Bird expert Henry Walker at a Big Farmland Bird Count identification day. Picture: Ian Burt

Farmers, gamekeepers and landowners across East Anglia are being encouraged to record birdlife on their land as part of a nationwide bid to monitor the impact of conservation work in the countryside.

Sawfly (xiphydria longicolli) spotted at Fairhaven Water Garden. Picture by Trevor Tabs Taberham.

Wildlife volunteers hope to repeat the trick of finding a tiny rare insect at a Norfolk nature garden in order to verify they made the county’s first recorded sighting of the species.

Norfolk farm manager Jim Scarratt will visit farms in Brazil after winning a competiton run by agri-chemical firm Syngenta

An East Anglian farm manager hopes to learn lessons from Brazilian agriculture after winning a trip to South America to see how farming systems differ across the globe.

Fruit and veg at a farm shop. Picture: Ian Burt

Consumers are throwing away £13bn of edible food from homes a year, according to new estimates from waste and recycling expert body Wrap.

Potato lifting in a field at Terrington St Clement. Picture: Ian Burt

A collapse in agriculture or even a fall in government could be prompted by a major drought in East Anglia, academics have warned.

Farm fields and rural housing on the outskirts of Norwich at Trowse. Picture: Mike Page

Landowners’ representatives have urged the government not to forget the acute needs of rural communities across East Anglia when publishing its long-awaited housing white paper.

HG Blake has been awarded a �37,000 grant by the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. Pictured is Jane Blake, chairman of the family-owned company. Picture: HG Blake/Jarowan Power.

The growth plans of a Norfolk-based abattoir have been given a helping hand thanks to a grant of nearly £37,000 from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.

Rupert Hargreaves (right) of Global Plant Genetics, looking at new selections of blueberries with one of the Norfolk firm's plant breeders in the USA.

A Norfolk-based intellectual property company has secured a £30,000 grant to take its portfolio of berry and asparagus varieties into new international markets.

Launch of new wildlife conservation charity, the Felbeck Trust, at Mallett's Meadows in Aylmerton. Left to right, Jane Williams, Lee Delbridge, Phil Hall, Helen Dawson, Trevor Williams, Claire Parkinson.  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A new conservation charity has been launched in north Norfolk, inspired by a village community’s determination to reverse the stark declines in wildlife highlighted by last year’s State of Nature report.

Marks and Spencer have suspended supply from Wild Rose Farm in Long Stratton. Picture: PETA

Marks and Spencer have said they are currently investigating claims made by an animal rights organisation against Wild Rose Farm in Long Stratton.

David Ketteringham, Norfolk Young Farrmers

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members, contract shepherd DAVID KETTERINGHAM talks about the childhood origins of his business.

Sentry cover crop demonstration at Hill House Farm, Hedenham.

The pros and cons of planting cover crops have been outlined in a comprehensive scientific review funded by levy-payers.

Pink-footed geese fly over Snettisham RSPB reserve.

East Anglian conservationists have backed MPs’ calls for new laws to be drafted to prevent key environmental safeguards becoming “zombie legislation” after Britain leaves the EU.

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Better access to finance made 2016 a good year for entrepreneurs, according to research from Barclays. Picture: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

The past year will be remembered for economic uncertainty, but it was a good time for entrepreneurs, writes Barclays’ Simon Smith.

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