Talking Turkey A bumper year in Suffolk
Made for the Urban Adventurer.
06 07 10
Farming News, Winter Warnings,. Silage aeration systems proving popular
More News. Talking Turkey. Controversial new pig farm gets go ahead
hat’s On? Upcoming events W from Lamma, Semex and the famous Olympia Horse Show
27 11 14 18 24
W hat’s On?- More dates for the diary from Grassland & Muck and more. 016 The year that was. 2 Article from Father and Farmer Will Evans
’A sub par service ‘, latest article by James Baylis AKA Solway Shepherd. achinery. Take a look M at the new machinery available from Agriplus
26 22 30 32
Columns from Emma Lander, Ethan Kinney & Gareth Wyn Jones. artFinder - Featured M listings from Penrith, Mitchells & Melton.
on’t let rural crime ruin your D Christmas. Safety message from the Countryside Cops
ational Offer from Electric N Fence electric-fence.co.uk
All about Alpacas Robin Sandys-Clarke
pages of Events
MartFinder Search auctions marts across the UK
Xmas gifts to inspire you 2 pages of Christmas gift ideas.
McCormick X7.650 Efficient
Plus the latest tools and machinery from Agriplus
Whatâ€™s in the box?
Equestrian goodies delivered to your door.
The Scottish Dairy Hub goes the extra mile.
he Scottish Dairy Hub celebrated its second anniversary recently by solving an employment issue for a new entrant. Originally from Northern Ireland, Joe Harte, aged 26, was born and raised on a dairy farm, where his father still milks around 50 cows a day. After moving away from home, Joe wanted to start dairy farming again, but this time in Scotland. And, with no contacts he could go to for help and support, Joe turned to the Scottish Dairy Hub where help from Stuart Martin (Scottish Dairy Hub manager) led Joe to land the job he had been looking for. Joe explains further: “I first met Stuart at the Royal Highland Show in 2016 where I explained the background and experience I had in the dairy sector. I thought looking for work in an industry where prices were falling and farmers were going out of business would be a non-starter. However, Stuart was a great help. He contacted over 150 dairy farmers in the area I was interested in, and within a week I had six job interviews, and eventually, a new permanent position.” Joe is now employed by Andrew and David Muirhead at Overton Farm, Alexandria. Muirhead’s Dairy produces, pasteurises, bottles and locally delivers all their pasture
Contacts. R.A.B.I www.rabi.org.uk AHDB www.ahdb.org.uk DEFRA www.gov.uk FCN www.fcn.org.uk RSABI www.rsabi.org.uk
promise free range milk from the 90 strong British and Holstein Friesian herd, and is a good fit for Joe’s career: “Working on a farm which allows me to learn and gain experience for the future really appeals.” he said. Since then, Joe has continued to use the Hub on a number of occasions. Looking to refresh his AI training and management skills, the Hub signposted Joe to a range of training courses in his area within 24 hours of him submitting his enquiry. Hub Manager Stuart Martin explains: “The Hub signposts farmers to the most relevant information for their enquiry, and it is free to use. The Hub keeps track of many different training opportunities, promoting them through our website events and noticeboard. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, make us your first point of contact – we are here to help with ANY subject.” Joe concluded by saying: “If I hadn’t met Stuart, I’m not sure where we would be right now. He has always gone the extra mile for us and it’s great to know that he is always at the end of the phone or email when we need a hand.”
NFU ONLINE www.nfuonline.com FARMING ADVICE SERVICE farmingadviceservice.org.uk SCOTTISH DAIRY HUB scottishdairyhub.org.uk FOOD STANDARDS www.food.gov.uk TENANT FARMERS (TFA) www.tfa.org.uk LEAF www.leafuk.org
contributors. James Wood. James Wood is a renowned experimental wild food forager, running wild food cookery and foraging courses throughout Cheshire. James is the author of ‘The Foragers’ Cookbook’. Tweet @ totallywilduk
Sarah Milne. The Scottish Dairy Hub acts as a signposting service connectingbest sources of advice and training to improve dairy farm competitiveness, technical efficiency, sustainability and growth. @andersonmilne
Chris McCullough. Chris is a multimedia journalist who has worked in the industry for 15 years. Although based in Northern Ireland, Chris has enjoyed a thrilling career travelling the globe for the best farming news & stories.
Emma Lander. Emma Lander is better known as Farmers Wife & Mummy, she runs one of the UK’s top food, parenting, farming & lifestyle blogs and contributes regulary to Farmland Magazine. Tweet @Emmalander2
NATIONAL SHEEP ASSOC www.nationalsheep.org RURAL PAYMENTS AGENCY www.rpa.gov.uk TENANT FARMERS (Scotland) www.tfascotland.org.uk COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE countryside-alliance.org.uk ADDINGTON FUND www.addingtonfund.org.uk FARMLAND PRESS firstname.lastname@example.org
REASEHEATH COLLEGE www.reaseheath.ac.uk ABERYTSWYTH UNIVERSITY www.aberyts.ac.uk NEWTON RIGG COLLEGE www.newtonrigg.ac.uk ROYAL AGRICULTURAL UNI www.rau.ac.uk MYERSCOUGH COLLEGE www.myerscough.ac.uk HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY www.harper-adams.ac.uk
social. let’s get
December - January
Farming News. Dairy,. Turkey, Crime & More. Controversial pig farm is given approval in Northern Ireland.Slurry aeration systems proving hugely popular amongst livestock farmers.
top tweets “Our objective, is for the world to truly appreciate the true value of farming.”
From the comfort of our home we feel for the sheep & farmers who have to be out in this weather so we can all eat!Thanks for your dedication”
“You’ll never walk alone...not when you have a dog anyway“
“There’s a Planet Earth II?!!! Brilliant, how do i get off this one and on to that one? .”
The picture says it all really. Page 17
Xmas Competition. 01. Send us your best farm christmas pic. 02. Winner selected on 28th December. 03. Best pic wins £25 and photo printed in our next issue.
The latest Farming & Agriculture events including Semex, British Cattle Conference and more. Full listings available online at farmlandmagazine.com/events
09. An interview with Julia Bradbury 13. The raw milk revolution 19. Poultry prep 23. Spring Events 26. Company Profiles 28. Machinery 30. Martfinder 33. See you next time
Connect + Talking Silage. Grass silage quality and how this can be addressed.
Expert advice from Yara UK. Plus - The importance of Soil Aeration from MC Country.
We thank you for your support.
Farmland News The latest news and stories - more at farmlandmagazine.com EGGS - HOW DO YOU LIKE YOURS?
New figures show Britain’s egg buying has hit highest figures since the 1950’s. Over 500 million more eggs per year are being bought by brits compared to 2 years ago. Eggcellent
MULLER NEW YEAR INCREASE
The Dairy giant has announced it is to further increase the price it pays for it’s milk by 2.5ppl. This means the headline milk price has increased by an average of 7ppl since October
Keeping it brief
WIith temperatures dropping across the country. Police forces nationwide have issued a warning for motorists not to leave their vehicles unattended when ‘warming up’, This creates opportunity for criminals.
Slurry aeration systems Smart slurry gaining popularity amongst livestock farmers
rish firm Dairypower Equipment says more and more farmers are contacting the company about its Smart Slurry aeration system that was first introduced to the market in 1998. With so many farm fatalities caused by slurry gas, more farmers are installing aeration systems in their tanks. The company has installed over 600 systems in Ireland and numerous more worldwide on a number of large and small units. Managing director Pat O’Donovan and technical manager Rick Crowley say they are installing new systems every week such is the demand. Pat said: “Aerating the slurry prevents a crust forming on the surface that traps in the gas. It has also been
proven to increase the Nitrogen content of the slurry making it more valuable as a fertiliser. “There is no need to mix slurry when an aeration system is in place as this is an environmentally friendly method of keeping slurry in a homogenous pumpable state that is always ready to spread.” The company is going to install new systems in Iceland, in the Netherlands and are receiving a number of enquiries from farmers in the United States. The system is relatively simple because it employs a low energy consumption electric motor and roots blower pump, electric rotary valves and self-closing neoprene non-return outlet valve.
The firm are installing new systems every week
All the piping is 50mm class D UPVC which neither corrodes nor degrades. Working on a time switch, the system is fully automatic and would typically run for three to four periods each day without any need for human intervention. One main pump is enough for up to 320 cows depending on the logistics of the shed.
Farm Advice Service
Register for free updates at www.farmingadviceservice.org.uk The Farming Advice Services aim is to help farms get to meet and comprehend the requirements for Cross
A bumper year for Suffolk Turkeys POULTRY POULTRY
short distance away from Fressingfield nestled in the Suffolk countryside, 3,500 prime turkeys are being prepared for this years festive feasts. Third generation farmer Philip Hunter of Suffolk Turkeys spoke to Farmland just prior to plucking this years tasty offerings. The farm is family run and has been for more than 50 years.
Phil and his family with their award winning turkeys
Compliance, Greening and European Directives. such as water protection and sustainable pesticide use. The FAS is a FREE to use service.
Controversial pig farm gets go ahead in Northern Ireland
ollowing months of debacle, a controversial pig farm in Northern Ireland has finally received planning permission to build a unit for 15,000 pigs. Farmer Derek Hall had originally suggested building a unit for 30,000 pigs on the Rea Hill Road near Newtownabbey but revised plans have now been passed for a unit half that size.
previously signed an online petition. Celebrities including Queen guitarist and animal welfare campaigner Brian May as well as actors Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove publicly opposed the pig unit as well in the past. Angry opponents were present in the council chamber for the meeting and protested afterwards outside, some confronting the councillors.
The permission was passed by councillors, some of them farmers, at a sitting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Planning Committee where nine councillors voted in favour and two opposed the development.
Ulster Unionist Party councillor Roderick Swann is also a farmer and backed the proposal. He said: "I'm a farmer myself who supports the agri-industry and I was quite satisfied that all the necessary welfare issues were addressed. The planning case officer and all the consultees were quite happy with everything that was proposed."
Residents had voiced huge concern over the project and said the unit would produce too much slurry and smell. All told, there were 856 individual letters of objection and 200,000 people had
“The weather has been right this year for the stock and we are really pleased with what we have available. Our prices haven’t increased in any suprising way as we buy ahead with our feed to ensure a saving”.
Updates. . . LAST MONTH IN SHORT Co-op to double supplier numbers
The group announced it will increase its number of suppliers to 1,200 by the end of 2017 as part of its pledge to Back British produce. Coop said they want to support small businesses and help them grow by not seeking exclusivity.
Chris McCullough Dairy Crest to follow suit A 2ppl increase to milk prices as of the 1st of January 2017 has been released by Dairy Crest. These are then followed by planned increases on 2ppl in February.
Aside from Turkeys the Hunters keep 500 geese and Chickens which roam freely on the land. “We sell about 700 of our birds at the Farm gate and the rest are bought by butchers, deli’s and farm shops across the county”.
Following these increases, the price for Davidstow milk will change to 28pp from January 1st and will be 30ppl from 1st Feb 2017.
Read more about Suffolk Turkeys at www.suffolkturkeys.co.uk
Register for FREE updates on 03000 200 301 or by emailing bookings@farmingadviceservice. org.uk and using ‘Register for newsletter’ in the subject.
WHY NOT ALPACAS? by Robin Sandys-Clarke
Until about 20 years ago, not many people in this country had even heard of Alpacas, let alone seen or owned one. We met our first alpacas, more or less by accident, in the year 2000, when we had just returned to live near Sedbergh. Having been impressed by their inquisitive nature and undoubted intelligence; their soft, hypo-allergenic fleeces, second in strength only to silk as a natural fibre; and their evident hardiness and ease of management, we were persuaded that they were what we should keep on our small hill farm.
A memorable experience, for Adults and Children alike.
There are two distinct varieties of alpaca: the Huacaya, with its soft, compact, dense fleece, representing more than 90% of the British herd; and the generally less robust-looking Suri, whose silky fleece hangs down in ringlet-style locks. We started with four pregnant Huacaya females, three of whose crias (young), born soon after they arrived, were females, thus almost doubling our potential breeding herd at a stroke. The Alpaca’s greatest asset is its wonderful fleece, whose versatility lends itself to garments and products from high fashion to more practical uses. But any new project must be both viable and sustainable; and what a learning curve we needed to undergo! Neither farm animals in Defra’s book (no veterinary products are yet licenced specifically for their use) nor pets in this country’s tradition, alpacas have nevertheless now firmly established themselves, both in Farm Diversification and as an alternative more attractive than a few of the neighbour’s sheep for those with a paddock needing to be grazed. 08
Fencing is not a problem, as a ‘normal’ sheep fence, a stockproof hedge or a dry stone wall will usually prove quite adequate. A simple shelter, providing protection from the elements in general and the flies in summer, is appreciated; whilst fresh water is essential; together with access to grass, good hay and a small daily amount of one of several brands of alpaca concentrate on the market. Despite its being comparatively new within the UK, we already see the Alpaca confidently taking its place in the country’s animal hierarchy. Note for Farmers with Lambing on the horizon : Alpacas have a well-deserved reputation for protecting lambs and free-range poultry from foxes.
ALPACAS FOR SALE We have alpacas for sale to suit almost all normal tastes and requirements. www.whynotalpacas.co.uk
WHAT’SON? FARMING & AGRICULTURE EVENTS DEC - JAN
TO SUBMIT YOUR EVENT CONTACT US
SMALL SUB HEADING
Olympia Horse Show 2017
Don't Miss 2017 looks to be a fantastic event packed year. The Farm Business Innovation show last month was a fantastic success and we have been proud to support and promote the show.
13th - 19th December, The Olympia show is a staple event in the equestrian calender. Tickets vary. www.olympiahorseshow.com The Grand Hall, Hammersmith, W14 8UX
MORE AT FARMLANDMAGAZINE.COM/EVENTS
18 - 19th JANUARY
The UK’s leading ‘all weather’ farm machinery show returns to The East of England Showground, Peterborough. With over 900 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors expected to attend it is no wonder that Lamma is a firm favourite in the Agricultural diary. Best of all - It’s FREE. Book at www.lammashow.com
23 - 25th JANUARY
British Cattle Breeders Conference
RADISSON HOTEL, GLASGOW
Held at the Telford Hotel, Shropshire. The 3 day conference includes a mix of Dairy workshops, presentations from a rich mix of domestic and international speakers and Beef conferences.
Now in its 27th year, the annual Semex conference brings together a plethora of delegates and internationally renowned speakers across 3 days.
Visit cattlebreeders.org.uk for full event info and to book.
Sunday 15 to Tuesday 17 January 2017 www.semex.co.uk
OVER 3,200 FARMERS AT
Turkey Science and production
Energy Now Expo
8 - 9th February at the Telford International Centre, Shropshire. The 2 day event is the only renewable energy event for the Agricultural and rural sectors.
Held on 8 - 10th March 2017 at the Carden Park Hotel, Cheshire. Subjects covered include reproductive biology, gut health, welfare and more.
Tickets available from www.energynowexpo. co.uk
Book at www.turkeytimes.co.uk
8th FEBRUARY 2017
The Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show returns to York auction centre 8:30am 4:30pm. Last year was fantastic so this is one certainly not to be missed
Winter Fair 8th December,
FREE parking, FREE entry. Book tickets through www.yams.uk.com
Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisburn.
24th - 25th MAY
Grassland & Muck 2017
High quality showing classes of Holstein, Ayrshire, Dairy Space Shorthorn & Jersey breeds along with seminars, exhibitions and much more.
The 2 day event has been an annual favourite for over 25 years and the 2017 show looks to be bigger and better than ever. 13,000 livestock farmers are expected to attend and join over 230 exhibitors. www.grasslandevent.co.uk
TIckets from www.winterfair.org.uk
FEBRUARY FROLICS Willows Activity Farm, St Albans. Live lambing, feeding & more. 11 - 19 Feb 2017. willowsactivityfarm.com
OXFORD REAL FARMING CONFERENCE
GETTING TO GRIPS WITH NVZ’S
Oxford Town Hall
Willows Activity Farm, St Albans. Live lambing, feeding & more.
4 - 5 Jan 2017. £30 / £50 www.orfc.org.uk
11 - 19 Feb 2017.
FORAGINGwith JamesWood ROASTED DANDELION ROOT COFFEE CAKE
James Wood is a renowned experimental wild food forager and author of ‘The Foragers Cookbook’ here he shares one of his winter favourites
uring winter it’s time to stop looking for leaves and berries to forage. Look down below the ground to discover the enlarged plant roots to adorn and flavour our meals. There’s an abundance to be found and enjoyed! In this issue we will be looking at one of my staples for this time of year, Roasted Dandelion root coffee. Here is the recipe for a delicious coffee cake to be served with a healthy dollop of fresh thick cream.
them and use half the amount of coffee grounds you’d normally use in making fresh filter coffee
To extract the root I wait for a wet day and find it easiest to use a pitch fork to soften the area around the dandelion before digging at the root itself.
1. Wash any dirt of the roots 2. Chop the root in to 1cm cubes 3. Place in an oven on 150C for 45mins – the oven door must be open for the first 15 minutes to dry the roots out before roasting 4. Let them cool and store them in an air tight jar. Crush them up when you need
Add 4 eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly.
Ingredients 200g caster sugar 4 Eggs 100g Self raising flour 100g chestnut flour (or just another 100g self-raising flour) 200g icing sugar A Handful Hazel nuts (or any mixed nut)
Add 100g self-raising flour and 100g sweet chestnut flour and combine or just 200g self-raising flour (it may look like it’s curdling slightly at this stage). Spoon the mixture in to a well-greased cake tin and bake on 180C for 30 minutes. Beat 125g butter with 200g icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add 10g ground and sieved root and mix thoroughly. Spread over the top of the cake and sprinkle crushed hazel, or other, nuts over.
In a bowl beat 200g butter and 200g caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Add 30g ground and sieved roasted dandelion root.
CONNECT + W: www.totallywilduk.co.uk E: email@example.com T: 07999 992 615 Tweet @TotalywildUK
016 has been a memorable year to say the least. As well as many much-loved figures passing away, Britain voted to leave the EU, and the US have elected Trump as President. Whatever your political persuasion, these events have far-reaching consequences for us all. Farming wise; severe delays with SFP’s increased financial pressure for many, high levels of flooding caused terrible problems particularly in Cumbria, and depressed prices across the board continue to see many of us struggle to pay the bills. But to put things into perspective, this year has also been the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. On 1/7/1916, my Great Grandfather, a 20yr old Sergeant in
the 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was involved in the attack that resulted in almost 60000 casualties in a single day. Fortunately, although severely wounded, he recovered from his injuries. But so many other country boys didn’t. Husbands, fathers, sons and brothers across the nation never came home again, and it remains a scar on the national consciousness. I often think about this. And the monumental task Britain’s farmers faced back then in feeding a nation at war. After the agricultural depression of the 1870s, British farming had been neglected by the government, and by the outbreak of war, the country was 60% reliant on imports for food. Over the next four years supply routes were cut off by German U-boats, and in 1916 after severe weather resulted in poor harvests, food shortages loomed large with prices rising by 130%. With a lack of men, horses,
About Will Evans, a 38 year old father of 4, produces beef cattle, arable crops & free range eggs on his family’s farm near Wrexham.
and machinery, the pressure on Britain’s farmers must have been incredible. Obviously the challenge in the end was met, (in no small part due to the contribution of the Women’s Land Army), and Britain and it’s allies eventually won the war. So when i hear talk of 2016 being ‘the worst year ever’, i think back to the truly terrible year that was 1916 and i’m thankful for what we have now. And when i sit down to dinner surrounded by my family on 25th December, i’ll raise a glass to those soldiers and farmers who battled against the tide for this wonderful country a century ago.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES, AND I WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2017.
nnabelle Brittle from Kent who alongside her business partner has launched the recent equestrian subscription service My Horse Box. The box is already proving a widely popular subscription service amongst horse riders and enthusiasts alike. Annabelle tells us the business was inspired by her love of all things equestrian and the pair look to expand outside of the UK, with a growing interest already from clients as far as the Middle East. “I met my partner Jonathan 3 years ago in Uni and we’ve been thinking about the idea since then. We have just packed
our first 100 boxes up this past week and it’s so exciting, never in a million years did i think we would be getting this level of enquiry. We work similar to a magazine subscription except you get a box of equestrian goodies delivered to your door every month. So
The December 2016 box was our first ever box, and we like to keep the contents a surprise so subscribers have more fun opening it! We’re hoping that a shiny My Horse Box will make a nice change to bills and spam letters! But every month there’ll be around five products for horse and rider, like treats, grooming supplies, accessories and clothing; the possibilities are truly endless. We’re committed to making sure that the value of the box far outweighs the price you pay. For example,
the December box was worth over £60. How
You can subscribe to My Horse Box via our website at www.myhorsebox. com. We offer different packages starting from £25.99 per month. You can also buy a My Horse Box as a gift with a one-off purchase.
@MyhorseboxUK @myhorseboxUK myhorsebox.com
TO FIND YOUR NEAREST DEALER VISIT SUBARU.CO.UK/DEALER-LOCATOR
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YOUR BEST PICS
‘Cow Olympics’ by Jonathan Sloanomni
‘One man and his dog’ by Louise Thompsonomni
I was determined to compile a list of every fault we’ve had on our account to take to BT in a bid to get our money back. After a 45 minute online chat, I came away with that list ...and it’s disgusting.
People the length and breadth of the country are suffering from never-ending issues with their broadband, and it seems companies feel they can treat those in rural areas like second class citizens.
It often seemed that our internet was off more than it was on, and it turned out that we’ve actually had 29 faults amounting to over 130 days of interrupted service. That’s over 4 months! How is this acceptable?
Thousands of people are living and working in the countryside and rely heavily on a functioning internet connection for their businesses. Iona and I are no different, however, the service we have received from BT since moving to the area in late October 2014 has been disgusting, and yet they continue to charge us over £60 a month, every month without fail, for a sub-par service.
We can’t be the only ones out there suffering this kind of service. I wanted to end this piece with a dramatic ‘enough is enough’, but I’m not really sure where to go from here. Is an online petition going to help? Or how about raising the issue with the media? There must be a way for us, and everyone else who experiences issues in rural areas, to have our voices heard, because it’s unacceptable to be paying for a service that only works two-thirds of the time.
RURAL BROADBAND - A SUB PAR SERVICE.
I realise that living in rural areas, we can’t expect the latest high flying space age fibreoptic internet but is it too much for us to expect to receive the service which we are paying for? I’ve lost count of how many BT routers we’ve been through in the last 2 years, so when BT attached £130 to our bill for a router they replaced in July, that was the last straw.
I’M A CONTRACT SHEPHERD WITH MY OWN FLOCK OF LLEYNS, WHEN I’M NOT CHASING MY SHEEP DOWN THE SOLWAY FIRTH, I’M PENNING MY NEXT BLOG POST FOR SOLWAYSHEPHERD.CO.UK
‘Robin on lunch’ by Pete Farringtonomni
WHAT DID THE NETWORK SAY? “The engineering challenge is huge, particularly in some of the more remote rural areas of the region. It involves the installation of hundreds of thousands of kilometres of optical fibre and thousands of fibre broadband cabinets. “More than 90 per cent of UK premises can already access superfast broadband and we are committed to rolling out high-speed broadband to 95 per cent by the end of 2017. “We are investigating the issues raised here and will respond once those investigations have been completed” HAS BAD BROADBAND AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. GET IN TOUCH VIA MAIL@ FARMLANDPRESS.COM
Genuinely Superfast RURAL Broadband
Have your say tell us whats on your mind Tweet us @FarmlandUK
Superfast broadband is a necessity, not a nice-to-have, for the day-to-day life of rural communiies. Sugarnet provide cost compeeeve, genuinely superfast broadband in just these places.
Innovaave, wireless delivery, supplying truly fast broadband, not just ‘essmated’ speeds.
No data caps and no line rental ensure you’ll never get a surprise bill whoever’s using it.
No call centres, just friendly, helpful staﬀ.
www.sugarnet.co.uk 0845 235 1010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in Touch Today
10 farmland farmlandmagazine.com
EXCELLENT BEGINNERS GIFTS Preserve Making Kit – Marmalade, Jam, Mustard or Chutney. Contains jars, lids, labels, funnel, recipe and some dry ingredients. £12.95 Quality stainless steel jam pan. £24.99 www.lovejars.co.uk
SURPRISE THEM WITH SOMETHING SPECIAL THIS YEAR.
TEKNETICS DIGITEK METAL DETECTOR
Lightweight and powerful, and at a cost that wont break the bank! £149.99. PLUS FREE P&P and FREE Accessories. www.uneartheduk.co.uk
SHEEP IN WINTER LANDSCAPE Needle felted from Jacob, Merino and Wensleydale wool. Felted part is 10cm x 12cm aprox £50 + P&P www.anniebrownneedlefelting.co.uk
BONE CHINA MUG Lots of wacky and whimsical sheep gifts, all from original paintings by Thomas Joseph www.tomjoe.com
ALL HANDMADE Unique Cow & Farm theme Bow Ties. Each with gift box. Cotton with matching satin neck band £7.99 www.coolcowstuff.co.uk
6 HAND POURED SOY CANDLES This Orange & Chilli candle has a fantastic sweet and spicy blend of orange zest, tangerine, bergamot, cassis and neroli with undertones of black pepper, chilli and musk perfect for Christmas £25.00 www.thebathcandlecompany.co.uk
TREAT YOUR FEET
Gorgeous alpaca socks. Perilla walking socks are perfect for farmers; alpaca fibre is a great insulator and repels bacteria and odour so can be worn for a week. £18.00 www.perilla.com
JOHN DEERE 2 SEAT 12V GATOR TRUCK The ideal gift for wannabee farmers. Top of the range twin seat ride on truck. www.kidselectriccars.co.uk
LUXURY CHRISTMAS FRUIT HAMPER ExpressGiftService are known for their quality and service. Great Christmas gifts from Fresh Fruit Hampers to luxury Fruit cake and gourmet food gift ideas. £40.00 www.expressgiftservice.co.uk
LESLIE GERRY Farm & Domestic animal cushions, plus many other products to choose. Kitchen Textiles, Mugs, Homewares, and Stationery. www.lesliegerry.com
QUICK GUIDE FOR BOOK LOVERS AN IDEAL FARM HUSBAND, Lorna Sixsmith Irish farmerette and author Lorna Sixsmith presents her uniquely Irish slant on what it takes to become an Ideal Farm Husband. Perfect read for country lovers everywhere. Available online. www.lornasixsmith.com/shop
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOIL AERATION
THE FORAGERS COOKBOOK, James Wood.
MIKE RAMSEY The importance of soil aeration is often overlooked within the farming industry, yet it plays a role in the maintenance of land used to keep livestock and grow crops. More and more often we come across paddock and pastures that have become completely compacted; Put simply, the soil particles are pressed together, reducing the pore space between them. Soil compaction happens over a period of time, a combination of livestock, horses, inherently hefty farming machinery and heavy rain and snowfall all lead to compaction of the soil. The threat of soil compaction is far greater now than in the past due to the size of modern farm equipment, and many farmers are guilty of assuming that tillage will alleviate any soil compaction when in fact tilling compacted soil makes it more susceptible to become compacted again. Soils that have become heavily compacted have fewer large pores, leading to poor drainage and water infiltration. The water is unable to penetrate any further than the surface, creating damp conditions that are favourable to weeds, moss, and disease. Compacted soil affects the habitat of the soil organisms – this negatively impacts the volume of ‘good’ bacteria present in the soil, the lack of oxygen penetration the soil also leads to soil organisms using nitrate instead – causing denitrification and toxic hydrogen sulphide to be released into the soil. This of course, is detrimental to grass and crops being grown. As well as falling prey to toxic gas within the soil, the porosity and density of compacted soil are decreased. Root growth is negatively affected as they are unable to penetrate the soil and are unable to take up water and nutrients; leading to stunted growth and drought stressed crops. Soil aeration can improve the physical properties of soil, the structure, porosity and density. Aeration introduces air into the soil and roots, alleviating the compaction and improving drainage and run off. It also improves the microbial activity of the soil, improving crop growth and reducing thatch and weed infestation. Timing is critical for soil aeration, the ground needs to be dry enough to avoid surface damage but damp enough so that the spikes can penetrate; autumn and spring are the favourable seasons, to prolong the effects the soil must be managed well after aeration.
Renowned forager and wild food experimentalist James Woods’ new cookbook is now Available on Amazon www.totallywilduk.co.uk @totallywilduk
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LEARN MORE ABOUT MAXIMISING YIELD AND QUALITY. AT YARA.CO.UK TO IMPROVE SILAGE QUALITY, START NOW! It seems an odd time to think about next year’s silage already, however many farmers will have received there silage analysis back at this stage. Some will be happy while the majority I suspect will be dissatisfied with their silage quality. What can be done about this? 01
Increasing grass silage quality will increase animal performance or give you the potential to substitute expensive cake for similar levels of performance. A 2% increase in silage protein will deliver 200 grams more dietary protein where 10 kg’s of grass silage DM is included in the diet. As it stands the sub optimal use of Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Sulphur on grass silage swards is impacting negatively on the feeding costs of ruminants this winter. The correct crop nutrition program can give livestock farmers the potential to improve silage quantity and quality this coming spring. Yara believe in the ‘measure to manage’ approach to grass production and this starts with a need to soil test now and if possible a slurry analysis in spring. A nutrient management plan will then maximise the potential of your silage sward. Chemical fertilizer grades such as YaraMia Sulphur Cut (22-4-14 + 7.5% SO3) or YaraMila Silage Booster with Selenium (20-4.514.5 + 7.5% SO3 +Se) will complement the targeted use of cattle slurry to balance the crops Potash requirements, while the Sulphur in these products is essential to maximise Nitrogen use efficiency and boost grass protein levels.
Article by Philip Cosgrave, Grassland Agronomist, Yara UK. Yara’s knowledge, products and solutions helps grow businesses profitability for farmers, distributors and industrial customers worldwide. @Yara_UK
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As a new Sainsbury’s Argriculture apprentice i attended their farming conference in November. It was a huge insight into the way farms are developing and the advanced technology being applied in the industry.
This was an exciting time for Reaseheath College too as this is the first partnership of it’s kind for Sainsburys. Phillip Hambling, Sainsburys’ Agriculture manager attended, as did representation from the NSA (National Sheep Association). We covered a huge amount of current topics including the use of antibiotics and how we should use less for the wellbeing of our livestock.
This is a huge issue being raised at present in the agricultural community so it was interesting to hear the arguments surrounding it. I am really proud to announce that i was given a distinction grade in my first exam! Although I am just finishing my first term at Reaseheath, we have covered a lot of practical learning already which has had a positive impact by
Go to futurefarmer365. com
advancing my skills and knowledge and it is just the beginning. What a confidence boost this has given me, i am so eager to see what 2017 brings. Thank you all for showing your support. I hope everyone has a brilliant Christmas and New Year and i look forward to sharing more of my journey to becoming a shepherd with you all again. Ethan
Emma Lander WWW.FARMERSWIFEANDMUMMY.COM As the year draws to a close and we reflect on the highs and lows of farming, it has made me think about a Christmas visit from an old farmer last year. He knew my late father-in-law from years ago and left us with a swede from his field. To us, a swede is just a little vegetable we sometimes have with carrots and a roast.
This Christmas, as people sit down to a feast of fresh turkey, root vegetables, potatoes and sprouts, they are likely to be eating mainly British produce from farmers like us.
While the swede, was small to us, to that old farmer it is a symbol of his livelihood. The hard work he has done all of his life.
As we look back at 2016 with falling prices, Brexit and general uncertainty for the future, maybe we could all make a conscious effort for 2017 to be the year of the British farmer. Let’s celebrate the great job we all do.
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That old man was proud of his swedejust like we are proud of the lambs that we rear.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
GARETH WYN JONES
Bore da Celebrity Hill Farmer Gareth Wyn Jones on sticking together in uncertain times. I’ve been working on a documentary for the BBC in recent weeks, let me tell you - it has given me one heck of a shock. As a country, we all need to pull together, especially now with the uncertain impact Brexit may have on the agricultural industry. The whole of Britain needs to unite to look after one another to ensure the future of farming in the UK. Think back to the second world war when there was no imported food. Our government needs to get behind British produce and its farmers moving forward.
Who is Gareth Wyn Jones? Llanfairfechan Gareth Wyn Jones is the successful author of the bestselling book ‘The Hill Farmer.’ Gareth is a father of three and has sheep and wild ponies on the Carneddau mountain range.
Now is the time to support British agriculture in this country and look after our own farmers especially during the tough times now and those yet to come. We are living in a time when all British produce is down, crossing different industries from arable farming to pigs and the price of pork If there wasn’t so much cheap,
KEYNOTE HALL 02 Thursday 11th october 2015 11am-2Pm
imported meat coming into the country from abroad maybe these problems now being faced wouldn’t be as drastic. I agree that the Supermarkets play a huge role in this issue but it is also up to us to as parents to educate our children on healthy eating and the value of nutrients in our food, where it comes from and to encourage them to drink milk. We have a massive problem in society caused by unhealthy eating habits which costs the government millions every year. Being a farmer who grows his own food, I try to teach my children where their food comes from. Society needs to take this on board, it shows the scale of the problem when the Olympics is sponsored by Coca Cola. To get through these tough times everyone needs to club together. Farmers aren’t asking to be made millionaires, they are just wanting a fair slice of the cake, a fair price for a fair job. With all this strain it is no wonder why the farming community is carrying burdens for the rest of their lives. Gareth.
He has featured in BBCs Countryfile and is spreading the word to try and bridge the gap between towns and countryside, educating the public about Farming and food production as a whole.
Investing now in our children will save us billions in the future 27
HOPES AUCTION CO Hopes have been serving the agricultural community since 1897. Regular sales of Primestock are held every Tuesday when Sheep and Cattle are offered for sale. 016973 42202 www.hopesauction.co.uk Syke Road, Wigton, Cumbria.
MITCHELLS AUCTION CO Established in 1872, Mitchells Auction Co are based in the heart of the lake district with a reputation of having some of the best livestock in the surrounding area to draw from. Visit our website for a full list of exciting upcoming sales
AS OUR K ABOUT CAR SALE BOOT S
PENRITH FARMERS MART In the heart of Cumbria. Penrith Mart is well established amongst the agricultural community. We are excited for our Christmas sales; Monday 5th December: Prime Cattle- Prize Schedule (Judging takes place at 8:30am) Wednesday 7th December: Prime Sheep- Prize Schedule (Judging takes place at 8am) www.penrithauction.co.uk @PENRITHDISTRICTFARMERSMART
WELSHPOOL SMITHFIELD WLS holds Monday sales of prime lambs, prime cattle, cull ewes, cull cows plus store lambs and breeding ewes. Fortnightly sales of dairy cattle, cows and calves and store cattle. The market attracts buyers from all over the country, annually selling in excess of 500,000 sheep and 10,000 cattle. WLS Buttington Cross, Welshpool SY21 8SR @WLSMARKET
Dumfries Mart is one of the main auction centres for farmers in the county attracting a packed ringside or local and distant breeders. The cattle sales programme includes store cattle and calves fortnightly on a Monday and OTM and prime cattle weekly on Wednesdays. Dumfries Mart, Huntingdon Road, Dumfries, DG1 1NF t: 01387 279495 w: www.cdauctions.co.uk
MELTON MOWBRAY MART Melton Mowbray Market is one of the longest established markets in the country serving over 2,500 people every year. Holding weekly sales every Tuesday dating as far back as 1324. All classes are sold in Tuesdays main market such as cattle, sheep, pigs, fur and feathers. Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1JY @MELTON LIVESTOCK 29
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DON’T LET RURAL CRIME RUIN YOUR CHRISTMAS
Festive advice on keeping safe this Christmas from the North Wales Rural Crime Team. t this time of year when our thoughts are with family and friends and drinks and food around a dreamy log fire, there are others who see this as a time of opportunity.
Rural thieves have no seasons, but see each day as an opportunity to take advantage of weaknesses in security and make some easy money. From the theft of pine trees from forest blocks to the taking of livestock and farm machinery, rural criminals remain active, especially when the nights draw in early. We spoke to Rob Taylor, Team Manager of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team about the problems his team see; “This time of year is busy for us, as criminals seek to gain some money before the Xmas period. We see such offences as the theft of tools and even livestock from farms in our areas around this time.” This specialist North Wales Team are a full time outfit dealing with all rural crimes daily, involving farms and wildlife and are asking the public to be vigilant and take some easy measures
to prevent being subject of a crime. He said “We are asking the public to take a quick walk around their property and assess their security weaknesses, such as locks on their diesel tanks, keys removed from quad bikes and farm machinery to be locked away in a secure building when not in use.” The team have devised a simple checklist for farmers to use which works on a scoring system and allows owners to assess what they have in place to prevent crime. Mr Taylor added “The pamphlet looks at all aspects of security and in the end the owner gets a score allowing them to assess their options. It is an idea we worked on in conjunction with the police in New Zealand and already we are seeing its worth on farms here in North Wales.”
CLOSING THE GATE ON RURAL CRIME
You can read the full checklist at www.north-wales.police.uk/advice-andsupport/safer-business/rural-crime
We want everyone to have a safe and peaceful festive period and we hope that simple precautions can make the difference and deter opportunistic criminals. 30
PICTURED ROB TAYLOR
JUST FOR FUN
The Welsh Sheep Dai Lemma.
‘m a sheep – sittin’ in a field, I don’t ‘ave a lot to yield. I’ve been a bit deaf – can’t hear words fully - Think my hearing’s gone a little woolly! I was feelin’ good but I now feel baaaaaaaah-d All thanks to the farmer’s lad! He came a-visiting brought some shears Said “I’m gonna trim your ears”
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT - SIMON GRIFFITHS, GERIANT JONES, RHYS EVANS, PAUL DAVIES, ROB TAYLOR (SUPERVISOR ), DEWI EVANS AND DAVE ALLEN
Now it feels like Winter even though it’s May As he took my overcoat away! Hope my embarrassment quickly ceases As It’s hard to cover my bits and pieces!!! A sheep unzipped without a coat Can be mistaken for a goat Been on computer – checking RAM But couldn’t find sheep coats – only SPAM Hoped that I could find a coatie Search engine turned up “small beard…….“goatie”” Prices were extortionate – fakes you see But I”m too clever – they wont “fleece” me! I’m freezing cold and I look a sight When you’re stripped butt naked – it is a fright I’m finding it hard to get to sleep So I count humans instead of sheep
SCAN THE CODE FOR THE CHECKLIST
I wouldn’t look like this if I could choose Plus it scares away the ewes So I won’t be able to be a humper Til I grow back my woolly jumper! Until that day I guess I’ll shiver My knees will knock and my “nutmegs” quiver Things could have been much worse of course If he had uttered “More mint sauce?”! If I’ve made you feel sad-ish, …. down-ish…. or weep-ish, please forPOEM BY LESLEY SCOTT
give me, I’m just feeling....Sheepish.