2022 Herefordshire Summer Grassland Competition – deadline for entries 17th May

  • Open to all sizes and types of grassland farms
  • Entry open to all types of farm/farmers with farms being inspected and judged on Tuesday 24th
    May 2022* (*subject to judge availability).
  • The winner of the Herefordshire round will then represent Herefordshire at the regional round
    of the ‘BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year’.
  • Allowances in judging are made with regard the type of farming system and the location i.e.
    upland or lowland and whether harvest grass is standing or already cut.

If you wish to enter you MUST email the below information by the latest of Tuesday 17th
May 2022.
1. Business Name
2. Contact Name
3. Farm Address
4. Email
5. Mobile
6. Landline
7. Type of farming carried out i.e. Beef/Sheep/Upland/Lowland/Dairy/Mixed etc.

Email Subject Heading: ‘HGS Grassland Competition Entry’
Email address: agricultural.secretaries@sunderlands.co.uk
Entry Deadline: 17th May 2022
Unless stated otherwise in your email your entry confirms that you give agreement that HGS/Sunderlands can retain and use your contact details

Hereford Grassland Society
Secretary: Andrew Edwards
Sunderlands LLP, Offa House, St Peters Square, Hereford, HR1 2PQ
Tel: (01432) 356161

New requirements for users of professional PPPs

Defra and the HSE have published new requirements for users of professional PPPs (plant protection products).

Anyone who uses PPPs must register with Defra or the equivalent government departments in Scotland and Wales by 22nd June 2022.

Registration requirements

As a user of professional PPPs you’ll be asked to provide:

  • your name
  • your business address
  • information about the quantity of professional PPPs you use and/or store in a typical year.

What to do

The Defra web page also provides examples of PPPs and adjuvants as well as information on how the HSE will enforce the regulations.

 

Review of items in the Farming Equipment & Technology Fund – reply by 1st April 2022

Defra are currently asking for feedback on the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund ahead of the next round. Some of you may have looked at the list last time and found that the item specifications didn’t quite fit your requirements; this is an opportunity to try and change things ahead of the second round. The link to provide information is below

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund: review of items – Future Farming (blog.gov.uk)

Please respond before 1st April 2022

WHAT MAKES RED TRACTOR CERTIFIED BRITISH FOOD AND DRINK SAFE?

Whenever you buy and enjoy food and drink that’s certified to Red Tractor standards, you’re tucking into something that’s always British, and traceable, safe, and farmed with care. How can you be certain that food is safe to eat?

Firstly, we’d like to give a nod to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and explain how we work alongside this important government body to ensure the safety of UK-produced food.

Both the FSA and Red Tractor were created more than 20 years ago in the wake of multiple food safety scares, at a time when trust in British food was at an all-time low. The FSA is an independent government department working to protect public health in relation to food. We share information and work efficiently together to find solutions to food safety challenges and prevent fraud in the supply chain

This collaboration not only protects people’s health, but also aids the FSA’s mission to reduce the economic burden of foodborne illness and support the UK economy and trade by ensuring that our food has a strong reputation for safety and authenticity in Britain and overseas. The partnership is viewed internationally as an exemplar for how assurance schemes can work effectively with government bodies.

The Red Tractor assurance scheme covers not just farms, but the entire British food supply chain. This means the Red Tractor logo can only be used on food that has been grown, reared, transported, stored, and packed in the UK to all the required standards as defined by our rules. Here’s an example of what we cover using the nation’s favourite meat – chicken.

We have standards specifically designed to assure food safety at every step of the food supply chain. We carry out rigorous checks to verify that each step in the supply chain is certified and meets our standards – this includes all Red Tractor licensed food processing sites, which take raw products like cuts of pork and turn this into sausages, or potatoes into chips.

Then there’s fresh fruit and vegetables. These are the foundation of a healthy diet, but the way we tend to eat them comes with extra risks which need to be carefully mitigated. This is because they are frequently consumed without cooking – and we know this can minimise some of the most significant food safety risks.

Here’s an example. Imagine you’re making a tasty chicken Caesar salad from scratch. We know that making sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly vastly reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses, but beyond rinsing the lettuce, there’s not much you can do.

For this reason, raw and unprocessed foods need to be grown to standards which prevent food safety hazards from occurring in the first place – including testing the water that’s used to irrigate fruit and vegetable crops. Fresh fruit and vegetables need to be produced in a strictly controlled and hygienic way to reduce risk at each stage of the process and ensure your food is safe to eat. This means that Red Tractor certified fresh produce is safe to eat from the moment it is picked on the farm.

Having world-leading standards for food safety and food production has helped protect the UK from some of the outbreaks and food contamination incidences that have been seen in other countries in recent years, including the E.coli outbreak in Romaine lettuce in the US in 2018.

Alongside UK law and the work of the FSA, Red Tractor’s food safety standards are a major reason why just 3.6% of the population suffer from foodborne illnesses each year in Britain, compared with around 17% of people in the US according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

In short, by looking for the Red Tractor logo, you can be confident that rigorous food safety standards have been met and the produce can be traced right back through the supply chain to the British farms it came from.

Countryside Stewardship online information events

Applications for Countryside Stewardship (CS) Mid-Tier including Wildlife Offers are now open and close on 29 July 2022. Chris Seabridge & Associates, on behalf of Natural England, are offering two free online event webinars to help you understand more about the CS Mid-Tier scheme. This will include information about how to prepare a robust application for an agreement that will benefit your local environment and your farm business.

DEFRA update on Lump Sum Exit and Delinked payments

On 8 February, Defra released the Government response to the consultation on the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and delinked payments in England.

Lump Sum

The response sets out how the Lump Sum Exit Scheme will work. Defra will offer farmers who wish to exit the industry the option of taking a lump sum payment, enabling them to leave farming in a planned way. Once they have received a lump sum, they won’t be eligible for any further Direct Payments.

They expect that farmers will be able to apply from April 2022 to the end of September 2022. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lump-sum-payments-for-farmers-who-leave-or-retire-from-farming-and-delinked-payments.

As set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, alongside the Lump Sum Exit Scheme Defra will provide additional support for new entrants.

Delinked payments

Defra also intend to replace the Basic Payment Scheme in 2024 with ‘delinked payments’.  Once they have introduced delinked payments, recipients will no longer have to farm the land to receive the payments until they have been phased out by the end of 2027.

Replacing the Basic Payment Scheme with delinked payments will make things simpler for both farmers and the Rural Payments Agency. It will free up farmers to focus on running their business and delivering the public goods that can be rewarded under the new schemes, including the environmental land management schemes.

Are you a landowner in North Herefordshire? Would you like help and advice in creating wildflower-rich habitats on your land?

UK conservation charity Buglife are working with partners in Shropshire and North Herefordshire to build a landscape scale, habitat connectivity project across the two counties. The project will seek to restore and create wildflower-rich habitats in our countryside following Buglife’s national B-lines network.

The B-lines network is a connected framework of 3km wide pathways that run across the entire UK, connecting all of our counties. The pathways join up our best remaining patches of wildflower habitat, and tell us where the most strategic place for habitat creation and restoration is to achieve landscape connectivity and enable wildlife to move through our landscape. Buglife and partners have been working in Shropshire to fill in these pathways with hay meadows, species-rich grazing pastures and wildflower-rich arable margins, and we are now looking to develop a project that takes in the B-line that crosses from Shropshire into Herefordshire.

In North Herefordshire we are working with the Herefordshire Meadows group to find interested landowners  who would like to be involved in this exciting project. We are looking for sites where we can create or restore species-rich grassland on land parcels of or over two hectares in size. If you are a landowner within the B-line shown on the map (pictured) and you would like to submit your interest to being involved in this new project we would love to hear from you. We will be able to offer landowners who fall within the project focus area advice, wildflower seed, tailored management plans and financial assistance with initial works on the ground.

You can look at our online interactive B-lines map at buglife.org.uk

Email Project Officer Kate Jones on kate.jones@buglife.org.uk by February 11th to register your interest in being involved in the project.

AHDB levy payers invited to have their say

In April this year AHDB levy payers will be able to have their say and influence the work AHDB does across the beef, lamb, dairy, pork and cereals and oilseed sectors. They will also be able to voice, what they think are the major challenges across the industry.

AHDB has looked at what they believe is important to levy payers and will be asking questions about whether this is the right focus.

For beef and lamb, this includes the work that goes into protecting the reputation of the industry. Marketing the benefits of beef and lamb to consumers at home and abroad through our We Eat Balanced campaign and exports work. Or the work that helps you build on the already strong environmental credentials of beef and lamb in the UK.

There’s the technical advice and guidance shared through manuals, tools and at events, including the Strategic and Monitor Farms. And the work on disease prevention, including BVDFree, tackling one of the biggest disease issues facing the cattle industry today, costing UK farmers, in total, between £25–£61m per year.

AHDB’s genetic improvement work provides an important way for producers to lift the productivity and profitability of their livestock enterprises. Genetic gain within the UK is currently worth £10.7m to the sheep industry and £4.9m per annum to the beef industry, with much of this work underpinned by AHDB’s programme of research, delivery and knowledge exchange.

AHDB also provides daily market prices and analysis of what’s on the horizon and what consumers are thinking and spending their money on.

You need to register to have your say and shape the future of AHDB at ahdb.org.uk/shape-the-future Registration should take no more than five minutes and needs to be completed by 31 March. You will then be contacted to have your say from 11 April for four weeks.