bitcoin gambling:This Week in Farming: RPA woes, Labour reshuffle and Fittest Farmer final

bitcoin hoy precio Hello and welcome to This Week in Farming.

The Farmers Weekly team have been working on some cracking stories for you over the past seven days – here are some of the highlights.

Computer says no

Resident newshound Philip Case has the latest on the IT glitches holding up applications for Countryside Stewardship.

The deadline for applications which had been started by Friday 15 September has been extended for a second time, causing frustration for farmers.

News of the computing woes came shortly after Defra promised to fast-track Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) payments, which were subject to their own IT problems.

Payments worth 25% of the expected full amount will be made in the first month of an SFI agreement – but this hasn’t been enough to stop the NFU and TFA from calling for Basic Payment Scheme reductions to be paused while the issues are fixed.

Small abattoirs boost

Defra plans to create a £4m fund “by the end of 2023” to support the struggling small abattoir sector have been welcomed by industry.

The cash will be used to improve productivity, enhance animal health and welfare, and encourage investment in new technologies.

Farming minister Mark Spencer made the announcement on Back British Farming Day (13 September), alongside a promise for more cash for the Farming In Protected Landscapes Scheme.

An additional £10m in funding is due to be provided annually to enhance support for farms in national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty (AONBs).

Shadow Defra shake-up ?

Labour’s newly appointed shadow Defra secretary Steve Reed admitted he was “on a learning curve” in his new role.

Speaking exclusively to Farmers Weekly, the MP for North Croydon said he was in listening mode and wanted to hear from farmers about the issues they are facing. He’s already had at least a dozen invitations to visits farms across the UK.

Mr Reed vowed to champion farmers and negotiate better trading terms for UK agriculture with the EU, if Labour wins power at the general election.

Meanwhile, as Defra minister Therese Coffey said the government was committed to keeping glyphosate available to farmers, shadow Defra farming minister Daniel Zeichner said a Labour government would follow the science regarding the future use of the herbicide in agriculture in Great Britain.

While recognising the crucial role glyphosate plays in agriculture, especially regenerative farming, Labour would “look closely” at any emerging new scientific evidence concerning its safety, he added.

Planning revamp

In positive news, the government is looking at introducing further changes to permitted development rights (PDRs) to make it easier and cheaper for farmers to make changes to buildings.

Proposals to cut red tape in the planning system could allow farmers to build, convert, and extend more buildings without the need for planning permission from local authorities.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has launched consultations on a huge expansion of PDRs.

Some areas under scrutiny include PDR expansions for barn-to-housing conversions, the extension and erection of warehousing, farm diversification and farm buildings.

Farmers can submit their views via the government’s consultation page until 25 September 2023.

Fastest farmer?

You have all heard of Britain’s Fittest Farmer, but has Farmers Weekly unearthed Britain’s fastest farmer?

Oliver White works alongside his dad and brother on the family farm just outside Bath in Somerset where they keep about 450 ewes and 150 beef cattle.

When he is not sitting at the wheel of his tractor, petrolhead farmer Oliver is usually busy driving sports cars.

Oliver, 30, competes in the GB Porsche Carrera Cup, which is the fastest single-make car race series in the UK.

Fittest farmer finals

After three gruelling regional finals, 31 contestants will battle it out for the winners’ trophies at Britain’s Fittest Farmer.

The final takes place at Tom Kemp’s Farm Fitness site in Essex on Sunday (17 September), where athletic farmers champion physical and mental wellbeing, tackling a series of events designed to test their speed, power and endurance.

But only one person in each of the three categories – men, women and mixed over-40s – ?can ultimately be crowned Britain’s Fittest Farmer for 2023.

Good week / bad week

It’s been a good week for evergreen farmer Basil George. The 94-year-old, who is without doubt one of the UK’s oldest ploughmen, took part in a ploughing match he co-founded in South Wales on Sunday (10 September).

Driving a Ferguson T20 with a Ferguson plough attached, Basil competed at the Vale of Glamorgan Ploughing and Hedging Society’s annual ploughing match at Boverton Place Farm near Llantwit Major.

Despite finishing fourth, Basil said it was the taking part that counts.

BBC director general Tim Davie had a less fun week. Scientists at the Science for Sustainable Agriculture (SSA) think tank wrote to him to complain about alleged pro-organic farming bias in the BBC’s online Bitesize revision guides. The corporation says it will respond to the letter in due course.

Listen to the FW Podcast

And finally, don’t forget to listen to the latest edition of the Farmers Weekly Podcast, hosted this week by Hugh Broom and Johann Tasker.

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