Gleanings - AF Weekly news summary
6th September 2023

Here’s what caught our eyes and ears in the agri news from UK and further afield this week.


Moo-ve over, NFU’s got the gen on livestock, dairy, and poultry!

As reported in Farmers Weekly and FarmingUK the NFU has just launched   ‘A closer look at…’ – an online series focussing on the livestock, dairy and poultry sectors. The intention is to help farmers correct some of the misconceptions and misinformation which widely circulates, and is often accepted as true and accurate.

Minette Batters launched the new digital resources by saying “… at times, if you read certain sections of the press and social media, it can feel that we are constantly under attack.

“We need to be better at explaining how food is produced in this country, and these new fact sheets are a valuable tool to help us do this, containing messages and facts we can stand behind.”

Having seen them, they do put into logical and easy terms key facts about the three sectors, which will be useful when trying to explain to non-farming stakeholders how we operate on our farms, and it will be helpful for farmers to have a single set of messages to share with them.


A devastating rural crime against a cow in Lancashire (Warning – distressing content)

Within a week of a man in Wrexham being convicted for allowing his two dogs to kill 22 in-lamb ewes, and injuring 48 others, Farmers Weekly reports on an unbelievable crime in Cliviger, Lancashire. A beef shorthorn cow belonging to Kenneth Tyson was separated from it’s herd, driven to the corner of a neighbouring field and shot dead. In what has been described as “an execution”, the cow was shot from the back end with a high velocity rifle, with the bullet entering the animals chest cavity.

The entire carcass was found by a neighbour, and none of the meat had been taken, so it was an entirely senseless crime. In addition, six young lambs were also shot in the same village in March this year.

None of want anything like this incident to be repeated. We can only do what we can to deter or identify trespassers. If you feel an improvement to your fencing or security might be needed then we’re here to help. 


Agri-cool: USDA’s $300 million climate-emission mission

The US Government has announced $300m in funding to monitor emissions by agriculture, as reported by The Independent. The focus will be on reporting emissions from agricultural processes designed to reduce or remove environmental impact, such as no-till agriculture and planting cover crops.

The investment will create a research network to monitor carbon levels in soil, which is crucial for understanding how much of the greenhouse gas is stored in the ground. A goal of the research will be to improve the methods by which farmers can be rewarded for using climate-friendly practices.

The report states: “To get a clearer picture of the climate impacts, experts say they need more data. But measuring exactly how much carbon dioxide is being stored in a given field can be a technical and time-intensive process. And making the switch to new practices can be unappealing for some farmers, who often bear the cost burden if they lose any yields or have to buy new seed.

“A better understanding of that data may open the door for a more robust carbon market, where farmers can be compensated for their conservation efforts and shielded from the financial risks of changing their operations.”

These are worthy aims, and if the work done in the US can help develop meaningful and robust carbon markets it is to be welcomed, as currently the value of sequestered carbon, and other natural capital, is hampered by a lack of organisation and long term strategy to reward landowners.


Ewe-nited States: first ever sheep embryo shipment leaves!

AB Europe has made the first shipment of sheep embryos to the US, under the new Ovine Embryo Export Health Certificate. The company gathered a consignment of predominantly Swiss Valley Blacknose embryos from breeders, and shipped them to Rolleston Veterinary Services in Maine. The embryos will be distributed to sheep ranchers throughout the US, who are seeking to introduce new genetics to their flocks.

The company plans more shipemnts in the coming months, to include Charollais, Cheviot, Dutch Spot, Herdwick, Kerryhill, Teeswater, Texel, Wensleydale and Zwartbles embryos.


And Tweet of the week…