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Farming News

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.

A field of wheat at Aldborough.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Green campaigners have called for an EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides to be extended to wheat crops – prompting an angry response from farming leaders.

Norfolk chickens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

East Anglian poultry farmers accepted the extension of a housing order as a “sensible precaution” against bird flu – and welcomed confirmation that birds now forced to live indoors can still be classed as free range.

Luke Paterson, Paterson Ag.

Two Norfolk farmers were given the chance to discuss their industry’s future with key decision-makers after winning the 2017 Norfolk Scholars competition.

Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Red tape, 6ft funding billboards and the “ridiculous” three-crop rule should all be ditched to help farmers become more productive outside the constraints of the European Union, said Defra minister Andrea Leadsom.

Matt Howard from administrators Price Bailey at Preva Produce head office at Foulsham near Fakenham in Norfolk. Picture: PRICE BAILEY.

A company which supplied potatoes to the likes of Walkers and Kettle Foods has been put into administration, with the loss of 20 jobs.

Jon Duffy (left) has been appointed group chief executive officer for Anglia Farmers. He is pictured with AF chairman Nigel Savory.

A Norfolk-based agricultural buying group has appointed senior farm commodities trader and industry spokesman Jon Duffy as its new group chief executive officer.

Dairy farmer Simon Dann with one of his ice lollies. Picture: Ian Burt

Public voting will open on Monday as shoppers decide which of their favourite East Anglian food firms should be the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year for 2017.

David Henley, principal of Easton and Otley College, with students.

A drive to increase farming content at an East Anglian college is set to continue in 2017 as it seeks to become one of the most important agricultural colleges in the country.

Sir William Cubitt, chairman of the Norfolk branch of the Country Land and Business Association.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Concerns and opportunities arising from the Brexit vote will continue to dominate East Anglia’s rural business landscape in 2017, according to a senior landowners’ spokesman.

NFU president Meurig Raymond at the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Meurig Raymond said he will be seeking greater certainty and confidence for his industry next year after a tumultuous 2016.

Brian Barker has planted six pairs of pants as part of his #soilmyundies experiment.

A Suffolk farmer has revealed some “dark secrets” of soil science – by planting his underpants.

The annual TW Gaze turkey and poultry auction 2016 in Diss.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2016

A last-minute chance to buy the perfect festive treat for the family brought some spirited bidding as turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks were auctioned off in the final few days before Christmas.

Hutchinsons agronomist Alex WIlcox in a field of wInter wheat.

Farmers must be bold and take a “zero tolerance” approach to black-grass weeds emerging this spring, according to a Norfolk farmer and agronomist.

Stephanie Casswell, a farm trader with Gleadell Agriculture.

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members, STEPHANIE CASSWELL talks about the cut and thrust of life as a farm trader.

Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone. Pictured: Lionel Walden school, Year 4.

Farmers, conservationists and schoolchildren in The Fens are celebrating the culmination of a three-year project aiming to build closer links between agriculture, wildlife and communities.

Pigs at Blythburgh Free Range Pork.   Picture: James Bass

Pig industry leaders warned of a major potential blow to their sector after EU veterinary experts recommended a ban on the use of zinc oxide medicines in animal feed.

A family in Skeyton are mystified by the appearance of a collection of dead earthworms inside a hen house.

A stash of dead earthworms inside a hen house has mystified a north Norfolk chicken-keeper – so she’s asking for help to explain the phenomenon.

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

Money made from diversifications on farms in England totalled £580m in 2016 and represents around a third of their incomes, according to a survey.

Norfolk turkeys. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The government has banned live poultry fairs, auctions and other “gatherings” of birds until further notice in a bid to prevent the spread of a dangerous strain of bird flu.

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

Farmers must make the most of improved profitability during the next 12 months, to equip themselves for the uncertainties which could follow.

Turkeys. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A dangerous strain of bird flu has been confirmed on a turkey farm in the UK – but Christmas supplies are not expected to be affected.

Stalham Farmers' Club tour to Germany, 1971. Picture: Courtesy of Mike Pollitt

A group of progressive east Norfolk farmers met in Stalham early in Queen Victoria’s reign to discuss new ideas and developments for their industry – and their legacy has survived today, writes club secretary and former EDP agricultural editor MICHAEL POLLITT.

Charlie (left) and William Mack on land at Hempstead Hall which is on the proposed energy cable route for an offshore wind farm.

Landowners in the path of a planned cable route for an offshore wind farm fear the green energy project could damage decades of environmental work in the north Norfolk countryside.

Norfolk turkeys. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Poultry auctions will take place around the region in the run-up to Christmas, offering public bidders the chance to snap up rare breeds, bargain turkeys – and perhaps something a bit different for the biggest meal of the year. CHRIS HILL reports.

The MV Occitan Sky being loaded with 25,000 tonne of grain at Great Yarmouth grain terminal

The largest shipment of grain to leave East Anglia so far this season has departed from Great Yarmouth, bound for North Africa.

Woodland at Hempstead.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Landowners have been urged to act fast to take advantage of a new tranche of government cash aimed at creating new woodlands.

The Norfolk Farming Conference at the John Innes Conference Centre. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The challenges of meeting environmental compliance rules while achieving profitable production will be among the key themes of the 2017 Norfolk Farming Conference.

NFU president Meurig Raymond meets banking industry representatives at NFU headquarters. Picture: NFU

Farming leaders have called on the banking industry to find collaborative solutions which can support the growing investment needs of agricultural businesses.

£1.9m advanced processing unit at Yaregrain in Cantley was opened in May 2016.  Picture: James Bass

State-of-the-art grain processing has added value to crops and helped generate extra income for a farmer-owned cereal storage business in east Norfolk.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve spoke to guests including The Prince of Wales at a rural summit in Westminster convened by the Prince�s Countryside Fund. Picture: Mark Lord 
Photography

A Norfolk cattle farmer told the Prince of Wales of her passion for livestock during an inspirational talk at a rural summit in London.

Aylsham Show 2016. Young handlers in the grand parade.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

After a successful summer event, this year’s Aylsham Show will be giving away about £30,000 to local good causes and charities.

Farming heritage: Stacking at Ringland.

A severe economic crisis forced government to scrap farm support measures almost a century ago but could history be about to repeat itself? MICHAEL POLLITT, former EDP agricultural editor, has reviewed a book about Norfolk farming in the 20th century, and finds some alarming parallels.

Daniel Brown, North Walsham Young Farmers' Club

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members, agricultural engineer DANIEL BROWN talks about an exciting time in the field of farming technology.

Charlie Tacon's farm at Rollesby has seen some of its Christmas sprouts damaged by diamondback moth caterpillars.

They have divided opinions around countless Christmas dinner tables – but those who love their Brussels fear a festive shortfall after the damage done by a summer invasion of sprout-loving caterpillars.

The four new silos at Crisp Malting, Great Ryburgh. Pictured are (L) Fengrain Ltd MD, Robert Munro and Crisp Malting Group managing director, Adrian Dyter. Picture: Ian Burt

An East Anglian grain marketing co-operative has hailed a significant year of progress after seeing its turnover grow by 15pc.

Food producers have warned prices will raise after Brexit if the industry is not made a priority in negotiations. Picture: Angela Sharpe

Food prices in the UK will rise if the government does not fight for the sector and its workers in Brexit negotiations, industry leaders have warned.

Farm fields between Seething and Halesworth. Picture: Mike Page

Businesses across the East of England are among the regional finalists of the 2016 Countryside Alliance Awards – an annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage.

Norfolk turkeys. Picture: Sonya Duncan

With a virulent strain of bird flu circulating on the other side of the Channel, the government has ordered all poultry to be kept indoors to prevent an outbreak in the UK. But what does it mean for commercial farmers, back-yard hen-keepers – and your Christmas dinner?

The site of the campsite that is due to open on the Cromer Hall estate next year. Picture: JUNGLE PR

A landowner who blamed Brexit for his plan to host outdoor concerts at his Cromer estate is now set to launch what he claims will be the town’s only campsite.

Norfolk chickens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Poultry farmers across East Anglia have been ordered to bring their birds indoors to protect against a dangerous strain of bird flu circulating in Europe.

HG Blake's Charity Christmas Beef Show 2016. Pictured: The Supreme Champion proze was awarded to 26-year-old Tom Seaman of Suton, Wymondham, for his 327.5kg Limousin X

A commitment to traditional stockmanship standards helped a 26-year-old cattle farmer claim the top prize at an annual Norfolk beef sale.

Aerial view of farm fields, houses and the solar farm at Trowse, July 2015. Picture: Mike Page

Rural businesses are pumping £1.8bn a year into the east of England’s economy – but they need better policies to give them the confidence to continue investing during turbulent times.

Norwich Livestock Market Christmas sheep show and sale. Pictured: Oliver Raynes of Alburgh Lamb, winner of the Young Handlers Class 2 (11-16 years)

Animals from the region’s finest flocks were in demand as Norwich Livestock Market hosted its annual Christmas sheep show and sale.

Bruce Paterson from Worsted Farms is starting Norfolk's first Wagyu beef herd.

After the heartbreak of selling off its renowned dairy herd, a Norfolk farming family aims to fill the livestock void by establishing the county’s first herd of pedigree Wagyu beef cattle.

Anglia Rural Consultants conference at NFU East Anglia office in Newmarket. Pictured: North Norfolk farm contractor Kit Papworth

Farmers must not expect future government handouts for nothing, and they should shape their businesses to be more efficient in a post-EU landscape.

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Steve Beber, left, chief executive,, and Mike Pettitt, chief technical officer, of TRACKIT Solutions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Future50 member TRACKIT Solutions has big plans which could transform the business in 2017, as SHAUN LOWTHORPE reports.

The installation vessel Giant 7 being used to install turbine jackets at Wikinger.

The East Anglian coastline is becoming a world leader for the offshore wind industry – but the lessons are being imported from abroad. Business editor MARK SHIELDS visited Germany’s Wikinger wind farm to find out more.

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