Agricultural Policy

Bovine TB Covid-19 exemptions to come to an end

It has been announced that a number of the exemptions which were put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic will be coming to an end over the coming months.

From 1st July 2021, a pregnancy diagnosis certificate, issued within the previous 90 days, will need to be provided for any in calf animals at the time of the valuation.

Any TB skin tests which go overdue from 1 July 2021 will be referred by APHA to RPW and may lead to cross compliance penalties. Referrals will not take place if APHA have been notified in advance of extenuating circumstances that will prevent the test being completed on time.

From 1st August 2021, the exemption allowing calves under 180 days not to be tested during certain routine and targeted TB skin tests in officially TB free herds will be removed.

Further information can be found on the TB Hub website: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/

RHWG survey results reveal priority livestock diseases

The Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHWG) has recently published the results of its UK wide survey of farmers, stock people and vets.

The survey, which ran between November and December 2020, received a total of 662 responses, 76% of whom were farmers and 34% professionals including vets.

The top 5 disease priorities in sheep were footrot and CODD, both of which scored high in all regions, scab due to production and welfare issues, liver fluke particularly in North and Less Favoured Areas, and fly strike due to animal welfare issues with farmers scoring it higher than vets as it can be treated on farm.

For cattle, digital dermatitis was scored high by farmers and vets, BVD was scored higher in England, johne’s disease had a high impact in all regions, liver fluke was a particular concern of beef farmers, and viral pneumonia.

The findings of this survey will now be used to prioritise the work of the RHWG across the devolved nations.

The full report can be found here: https://ruminanthw.org.uk/health_welfare_survey

Emergency authorisation for asulam to control bracken approved

The emergency authorisation to use asulam to control bracken was approved on 10th June by the relevant bodies for the 2021 season.

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinium) is a perennial plant that has an impressive invasive ability to spread through rhizomes under the ground, such that increases in land cover of around 3% per annum are not uncommon. Estimates of bracken ground cover vary between 900km2 (4.3%) and 1200km2 (5.3%) of Wales’ land mass.

Those planning to apply asulam products for bracken control this year must study the approval documents carefully.

Key points:

  • Aerial application is approved subject to a 90m wide no-spray buffer zone against surface water bodies.
  • Ground-based application is authorised but restricted to conservation areas only, and the use in these areas must be under the direction of the relevant conservation body. See the full details in the Authorisation document.
  • Livestock must be removed from areas to be treated and must not be allowed to return until at least 1 month after treatment.

Key dates:

#Farm24 returns to showcase British farming

The Farmers Guardian #Farm24 campaign, sponsored by Morrisons, has returned for 2021 to provide an opportunity for farmers and the public to celebrate British farming and highlight how farming serves the nation.

In 2020, #Farm24 reached more than 26 million people. This year, the aim is to reach even more people through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok from 5am on 5th August to 5am on 6th August.

To get involved with #Farm24, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Download and print your favourite pledge card

Pledge Card 1
Pledge Card 2
Pledge Card 3

Step 2: Take a photo, video, or even a TikTok with it - be as creative as you like! You could take your pledge with your favourite British food or your favourite farm animal!

Step 3: Share it on social media using #Farm24

Step 4: Tag Farmers Guardian - @FarmersGuardian and @Morrisons

Step 5: Nominate friends and family and get them involved too

Farming Connect air quality interactive tool gone live

Farming Connect has recently launched its new interactive air quality tool online here: https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/improving-air-quality. The tool provides advice on the actions a typical Welsh farm can take to improve air quality and the subsequent benefits to the business.

The tool covers the following subtopics:

  • Air treatment and muck drying
  • Regulatr scraping
  • Switching from straight urea fertiliser
  • Extending the growing season
  • Precision slurry spreading
  • Wasing the collection yard
  • Efficient use of protein in the diet
  • Covering the slurry store

It also provides further information on how to access Farming Connect services relating to the topic and relevant Rural Development Programme grants.

COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/