Browsing: Farming

The schedule has been published for this year’s Offwell Flower and Produce Show. Last year’s event was hampered by extreme heat and a clash with major sporting events. Taking place in the village hall on Saturday, September 14, the 2019 show has classes for everyone – from flower arrangers to vegetable growers. The subject of this year’s first competition in the decorative class is a flower display with an afternoon tea theme. A sporting theme is required for the traditional scarecrow competition. Other classes include: fruit; cut flowers; vegetables; home produce; home brew; photographic; and handicrafts. In class 39 of…

For the third year in a row, Gatcombe Farm has opened its gates to raise cash for charity Devon Freewheelers. The event, staged on Open Farm Sunday earlier this month, gave families from across East Devon the opportunity to experience life on a working farm. Gatcombe Farm is run by the Reed family and located off the A3052, between Sidmouth and Seaton. During the day, visitors were invited to view the farm’s crops, cattle, milking facilities, sheep, and pigs. Tractor and trailer tours were given around the farm and one of the big attractions was the baby calves. A vet…

This month the Devon Local Nature Partnership is celebrating the role farmers play in the Nature Recovery Network. It is promoting events that connect consumers with local farmers throughout June. One of the events it has already supported was Open Farm Sunday, staged on June 9. The partnership is including foresters in the celebrations, pointing out 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission. The Royal Forestry Society marked the event with a three-day forestry conference at Dartington. Devon Local Nature Partnership, also known as Natural Devon, is a collaboration of those working to ensure that a healthy natural environment…

A farmer from Honiton triumphed at the Royal Cornwall Show, bringing home a haul of awards from cattle classes – including the top prize. Who Dares Gins, shown by Mrs L Calcraft, took first in the commercial cattle class to win the RCCA Champion Rosette, applicable to classes 266 to 270. It then went on to win the Penryn Perpetual Challenge Cup, awarded to the overall champion of the cattle classes. Who Dares Gins also took first in the Pure Breed or Cross Breed Steer or Heifer, born on or after July 1 last year. Mrs Calcraft’s success didn’t end…

The headline herd incidence rate and herd prevalence for TB decreased slightly in England last year, new statistics have revealed. But there is better news for East Devon farmers. Defra says the total number of animals slaughtered due to a TB in England was 32,923 – one per cent less than in 2017. However, new herd incidents and non-OTF herds were down six per cent in high risk areas, which include the whole of the South West. Defra points out: “Short term changes in these statistics should be considered in the context of long-term trends.” Rates, published earlier this month,…

Ash trees that can tolerate the devastating ash dieback disease will be planted in a UK’s first. They are to be a feature of the ‘ash tree archive’, Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner has announced. Speaking at the Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, he said the move was part of the government’s new Ash Research Strategy. This strategy consolidates all the evidence on ash trees and their threats to identify future research needs. It hoped the work will protect the species and restore it to our landscape. Known threats include ash dieback disease and the pest emerald ash borer. The Depatment for…

The traditional Sidmouth Junction and District Ploughing Match will this year take place just off the old A30 at Fairmile. A highlight in the local farming calendar, the event will start at 10am on September 8. It usually attracts competitors from across the district. Ploughing matches became popular nationally between the wars. Some involve horse-drawn ploughs but many use the more modern tractor. Larger events can include a combination of both, with classes. At Fairmile, farmers will be competing for points that will take into account the neatness of furrows and their straightness. A three-day ploughing match, the Irish National…

The National Audit Office is urging the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to ensure a plan for UK farming is in place to give farmers time to prepare for changes. It says, the government’s new farming policy will be a significant departure for farmers across England. Every farm in East Devon will be impacted by the plan. Fears have been expressed that Defra is already under considerable pressure, making preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU. The National Audit Office warns that the government “must approach its roll-out carefully to ensure farmers can prepare in the…

Farming will definitely be in the spotlight at this year’s Honiton Agricultural Show. Taking place at the showground on Thursday, August 1, the event is a traditional day out for not just farmers but the entire local community. However, the emphasis has always been on agriculture, farming and rural crafts. The 129th show, organised by Honiton and District Agricultural Association, will take place on a 140 acre site and is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors. Main Ring attractions will include Jamie Squibb and his freestyle motocross arena stunt show as well as The Devil’s Horsemen, a stunt and trick…

East Devon may be regarded as ‘rural’ but it forms part of one of the biggest economies in England. Devon is ranked 19th in the country and rural businesses have benefited from both diversification and transformative technologies. Staying in the loop and riding the wave of the latest tech trends has been key to both innovation and growth – even if ‘super-fast’ broadband has taken a while to reach everyone. One of the biggest obstacles firms in East Devon face is knowing what action to take when growth appears to stall. All businesses face tougher competition when they are impacted…

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