21/11/19 Getting out of beef and into dairy, alternative mulches, farm recycling, rural transport
A farmer in Northern Ireland is selling off his beef cattle to set up a dairy herd instead. Ian Smith and his son from County Down believe the margins will be better in dairy and say it's getting increasingly difficult to make money from beef.
Farmers and scientists are developing alternatives to plastic sheeting used to control weeds. Coventry University and the Innovative Farmers group are testing out alternative mulches in field trials.
A new scheme wants more farmers to recycle their waste plastic. The UK Farm Plastic Responsibility Scheme wants collectors and recycling companies to join forces to improve recycling facilities and develop new technologies. Mark Webb who's behind the scheme says collecting the plastic isn't the problem, it's the reprocessing, as there aren't enough plants that can recycle it.
Villagers in rural Warwickshire have set up a green community transport scheme using electric cars. The Harbury e-wheels scheme transports people in a couple of electric cars. The village now hopes to set up a wind turbine to charge them.
20/11/19 Wet weather consequences, Grass-fed beef, Cheese training course
Farmers across the country are having to change their cropping plans because of the wet weather. There are warnings that many could be facing financial hardship for several years to come.
Throughout this week we're looking at all sorts of beef farming, intensive, extensive, specialist and commercial. Today we focus on organic, grass fed beef.
Cheese producers, the Quicke family, have invited students onto their own farm to learn about cheese making.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
19/11/2019 Rural services, Intensive beef production
As part of our election coverage, this morning we focus on rural services and especially on health care. Charlotte Smith visits a GP surgery in the Surrey Hills to hear from Dr Emma Watts and patients about what they're hoping to hear from politicians in the election manifestos.
This week we are comparing the environmental impact of different production methods of beef. Today we visit Ian Willison's 200 acre farm in Nottinghamshire.
To help us through this period of electioneering, we've set up an expert panel to consider all the arguments and promises made by the parties, relating to farming, the environment, fishing and rural services. Today we introduce our rural services expert, Professor Mark Shucksmith.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
18/11/19: The environmental impact of beef, Orkney ferries and livestock transport, Worms and plastic
The beef industry is under pressure. Prices are low for British farmers and beef is facing a back-lash from environmental campaigners. To begin Farming Today's week about beef Sybil speaks to Professor Don Broome from the University of Cambridge who says that the environmental impact of beef comes down to how it's produced and why the effects of methane have been slightly over-stated.
Laura French who farms on the island of Rousay in the Orkneys tells Sybil that some her lambs may starve after a height restriction placed on lorries boarding their local ferry has prevented her getting her lambs to market.
Richard Westcott reports from the Anglia Ruskin University where new research shows that tiny bits of plastic in the soil can stunt the growth of worms.
Presenter: Sybil Ruscoe
Producer: Toby Field
Farming Today This Week: Fish Farming
Aquaculture has grown enormously in the UK since the first fish farms were established nearly fifty years ago. So is farming the sea a sensible way to feed a growing population, or do concerns over sustainability cast too much doubt over its environmental viability? In this programme, Sybil Ruscoe talks to a panel of experts, including a fish vet from one of the UK's biggest salmon producers, a spokesman from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and a professor of aquaculture.
Producer: Emma Campbell