Episode from the podcastFarming Today

14/11/20 - Farming Today This Week: The Agriculture Act, farming wet peat, wool prices and young rural voices

Released Saturday, 14th November 2020
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The Agriculture Bill was given Royal Assent this week to become the Agriculture Act. It follows a series of fierce debates in the Houses of Parliament and beyond about whether UK farmers will be protected from lower standard imports. The Act replaces the EU's Common Agricultural Policy - we hear from the Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis.

The peat lands of the Fens are usually used by farmers to grow high value vegetable crops such as lettuce and celery. Ploughing up peat soils releases massive amounts of carbon, but if the peat is kept under water it becomes a valuable carbon sink. We visit a field trial being run by local Wildlife Trusts in the Great Fen, where they're growing alternative crops in rewetted peatlands

The impact of COVID 19 on the world wool market has led to some farmers burning or composting fleeces because it’s not worth packing them for sale. Most British wool is used in things like carpet - and a fall in demand has hit wool prices. Charlotte Smith speaks to a farmer about the consequences.

And following on a Radio 4's Re-Think Week back in June - when we spoke to a range of people about re-thinking food and farming in a post-COVID world - we now hear from some young rural voices. From farmers, to birdwatchers - what do they think their future holds?

Presented by Charlotte Smith
Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

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