Agriculture in the national news - November 3

A DAILY look at how agriculture has hit the headlines across the country (Wednesday, November 3).

Grim toll of death and injury on farms

THE appalling safety record of British agriculture was confirmed again yesterday as new statistics showed an increase in the number of staff injured.

The Health and Safety Executive said 640 people had in the year to March 31 received serious injuries, which included broken bones or limbs being amputated. This was up 41 on the year and represents a 40% increase on figures from three years ago.

The latest grim figures followed statistics in June which revealed an increase of 13 to 38 in the number of people killed in farm accidents in the same period.

Press and Journal
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1991916?UserKey=#ixzz14CzMPecM

Interest rates ‘biggest threat’ to farmland rally

Rising interest rates - eventually - rather than a tumble in crop markets, look most likely to derail the rally in US farmland prices, holding the potential to bring values “under “dramatic” downward pressure.

US land prices, which have more than doubled over the past decade, look set to prove “stable to increasing… over the next several years”, underpinned by both higher crop prices and low interest rates, Gary Schnitkey, professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois, said.

Agrimoney
http://www.agrimoney.com/news/interest-rates-biggest-threat-to-farmland-rally—2427.html

Minister seeks to calm wind farm fears

Britain’s energy minister has sought to allay concerns that North Sea wind farm operators might lose their leases to make way for oil and gas exploration, saying they could receive financial compensation in such circumstances.

The Financial Times revealed that industry executives feared that lease terms, issued by the Queen’s Crown Estate, could threaten funding of future wind projects. But Charles Hendry, energy minister, told MPs this was a very unusual situation that had not yet occurred.

FT
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/74b7bbbe-e67d-11df-95f9-00144feab49a.html

Decision over future of 26 rural schools put on hold

A DECISION to look into closing 26 rural schools in Argyll and Bute has been put off until later this month.

Crowds of parents and children gathered outside the council headquarters at Lochgilphead yesterday to protest against the proposals, which the council says would save it £2million a year.

Press and Journal
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1992037?UserKey=#ixzz14D049qdl

Thefts from churches highlight rural risks

CHURCHES in rural areas risk being turned into fortresses after a spate of thefts, it has been warned.

New security measures costing £20,000 are being installed at a church in Berwick after valuable antique pipes were stolen last week, while another church in Northumberland has this week had lead stolen from its roof.

Journal Live
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2010/11/03/thefts-from-churches-highlight-rural-risks-61634-27589620/#ixzz14D0PyTvl

Youngsters get hands dirty at farm

STOURPORT youngsters put on their wellies and visited a farm to learn about sustainability and buying local produce.

They were given a guided tour of Norchard Farm, in Crossway Green, by owners Paul and Mike Southall.

Kidderminster Shuttle
http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/8480668.Youngsters_get_hands_dirty_at_farm/

Fire crews tackle blaze at Derbyshire farm

A fire which destroyed a hay barn along with its contents at a Derbyshire farm has been brought under control by fire crews.

Eighteen firefighters from four stations were called to the blaze at Trusley Brook Farm near Ashbourne at 2230 GMT on Monday.

The fire is not thought to have been started deliberately.

BBC Online
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-11672318

We need to change the image of agriculture in Africa

It is widely accepted that agricultural growth and increases in farm productivity are prerequisites to broad-based sustained economic growth and development.

Yet, when it comes to Africa, this connection is just beginning to be made by the development community as well as many African governments.

The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2010/nov/01/africa-agriculture-image-change

‘We need to do more with less’ says New Forest National Park chief

THE organisation that runs the New ForestNational Park is getting set for another round of budget cuts following last month’s spending review.

The National Park Authority (NPA) comes under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which has been told to slash its expenditure by almost 30 per cent.

Southern Daily Echo
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/8490261.NPA_braces_for_impact_of_cuts/

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