Facial recognition technology to read pigs' emotions, red deer cull, Forestry Commission's writer in residence, and more
It's well known that pigs are intelligent and expressive animals. They are social and pig farmers are used to assessing their herds, by sight and sound. But now scientists say they could develop a facial recognition system to show how pigs are feeling, even if their mood is not so evident. We hear from Dr Emma Baxter from Scotland's Rural College.
A major operation is under way to cull red deer which are eating farm crops. Special regulations are being used in the Flanders Moss area near Stirling to give stalkers extra powers to target the growing herds.
The Forestry Commission has just appointed a new writer-in-residence; Zakiya McKenzie, who grew up in Jamaica. She describes how she hopes to connect people from a diversity of backgrounds to Britain's woodland and forests.
Over the last seven years, the spread of the fungal disease Ash Dieback has started to transform some woodlands, as dead trees are felled. In the long term, it's predicted that the disease could kill millions of trees. More immediately, government bodies are concerned that dead trees could prove hazardous near roads, railways and buildings. The Welsh government has now launched a forum to bring together those responsible for keeping public areas safe.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
Welfare standards for imported eggs, farm homeless hostel, British woodlands
Egg producers and animal welfare campaigners have joined together in protest over tariff plans for imported eggs. Compassion in World Farming describes it as a warning that ministers' promises on animal welfare after Brexit can't be trusted.
A farmer in Somerset has created a homeless hostel on his farm. 'The Dairy House’ can house up to seven people, and residents can stay for up to three months.
All this week we're going to talk about Britain's woodlands. Trees cover about 13% of the country but the government's Committee on Climate Change would like to see that increase to 19%. Professor Robert MacKenzie, Director of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, describes how this could be done.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
There's been a flurry of activity around Westminster this week, so what better time to talk to the next generation of farmers and find out more about their hopes, ambitions, concerns and plans for UK agriculture?
Charlotte Smith visits Cowage Farm just outside Malmesbury in Wiltshire - a diversified business involving cattle, pigs and arable, as well as commercial and private units.
She talks to Thomas Collins, who runs the farm and is also co-vice chair of the National Farmers' Union's Next Gen Forum, about future-proofing a modern farming business and gets some insight from his father James about the difficulties of handing over a family farm to the next generation, as well as the benefits of taking a step back.
Emily Hughes meets young farmer Rollo Deutsch, who isn't himself from a farming background but broke into agriculture through shepherding.
He now runs a flock of 800 on rented land near Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, where she went to meet him.
Back at Cowage Farm, Charlotte and Tom are joined by Jeff Simpkins, whose family runs a dairy farm just down the road; he's also County Chairman of the Wiltshire Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs - and Alex Neason, a student at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, who's also the recipient of the John Innes Foundation bursary for students from non-farming backgrounds who want to make a career in agriculture.
Escaping from the blustery weather in the warmth of the farm kitchen, the group discuss how the past week in Parliament might impact Brexit and farmers and their hopes for the future of British agriculture.
Presented by Charlotte Smith; produced by Lucy Taylor
Delay to Brexit, early aphids, backing British
Fishermen's fears on a delay to Brexit: we hear from the Scottish Fishermen's Federation.
Aphids will be flying earlier this year. Research from AHDB suggests that crop destroying pests will be flying around ahead of the usual schedule, and perhaps not surprisingly it's down to the weather.
All this week we've been looking at where agriculture's new entrants will come from. Some of those new entrants are already thinking about consumers. Agriculture students at Reading University got involved with the industry's 'Back British Farming' campaign and brought it onto the campus.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton
Last night, MPs voted to reject a no-deal Brexit: but what exactly does that mean for the UK in legal terms? And what can farmers and food producers expect from the next vote tonight, on a potential delay to our departure date from the EU?
Charlotte Smith speaks to former Farming Minister, George Eustice, to get his take on the best option for UK agriculture.
Although the House of Commons has voted 'no' on no-deal, that isn't legally binding and could potentially still happen. If that's the case, the government has announced tariffs that will be imposed on certain goods being imported into the UK, just as the EU and other trading partners would put tariffs on our goods exported to them. Up to now, there had been concern amongst UK farmers that, if the government set tariffs too low, itwould allow cheaper foodstuffs produced to lower standards overseas to come into the UK and undercut home producers...
Charlotte asks Nick von Westenholz, the NFU's Director of EU Exit and International Trade, whether this is still a cause for concern.
Meanwhile under the announced no-deal tariff plan, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would be subject to different rules. The government says in a no-deal situation, it will not introduce any new checks or controls, or require customs declarations for nearly all goods moving from across the border from Ireland to Northern Ireland.
According to Ivor Ferguson, President of the Ulster Farmers' Union, that would allow a back door for imports into Great Britain.
From Brexit to Bagots: a horned, black and white breed of goat, which isn't used commercially for milk or meat - which explains why numbers have dropped.
But North Norfolk District Council now owns a dozen rare Bagot goats for land management purposes.
Clare Worden visited the flock, including some noisy new arrivals, to find out more.
And as Farming Today continues its focus on the agricultural sector’s next generation, we hear how one of the big challenges is making youngsters aware of the variety of careers on offer.
MDS is a graduate scheme that offers management apprenticeships specifically for the food and fresh produce industry.
Dearbhla Gavin visited an open day in East Malling, Kent, to find out how it works.