13/09/19 Salmon farming, ash dieback, election and environment
All week we're looking at farming the sea. Salmon is the UK's biggest aquaculture industry, and the biggest company operating in Scottish waters is Mowi, formerly known as Marine Harvest. Nancy Nicolson visits one of their salmon farms off The Isle of Rum.
The industry may be providing affordable fish for consumers but it is coming under increasing fire for the impact it is having on the marine environment, its use of chemicals to control parasites and disease, and its impact on wild salmon stocks.
The Scottish Parliament's environment, climate change and land use committee said in a recent report on the industry, that the status quo was "not acceptable" and made 65 recommendations for improvement, including a call for the sector to explore offshore sites in deeper waters .
We speak to marine biologist, Dr Sally Campbell who says salmon farming is damaging the sea with its waste.
New research has found European Ash is more resistant than thought to a dangerous beetle - the Emerald Ash Borer - which has devastated trees throughout North America. Trees in the UK are already being killed by the fungus-borne ash dieback, but some trees are showing a natural resistance. Professor James Brown from the John Innes Centre in Norwich says if trees are resistant to ash dieback, they're better able to resist the beetle.
Continuing our election coverage we look at environmental issues and farming. We ask voters at a wildlife reserve on the North Norfolk Coast what pledges they want to hear.
Anna Hill visits Norfolk Wildlife Trust's visitor centre at Cley Marshes to focus on environmental issues in the run up to the election.
We hear about oyster farming in North Northumberland and the plight of the UK's dried up chalk streams.
And how potato farmers in Lincolnshire have been hard hit by the extreme wet weather this autumn.
Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.
11/11/19: Farming and flooding, Fly-tipping on farms, Farming the seas overview
Farmer Peter Gadd tells Charlotte Smith how he's been affected by the current floods and why to reflect the situation the government should relax some of its rules around the Basic Payments Scheme which requires certain 'greening' requirements to be met, which is impossible when your land is under water.
Fly-tipping is on the rise - new figures from DEFRA show incidents have increased by eight percent across England year on year. The figures cover rubbish left on public land and farmers point out they too are having to clear up more and more fly-tipped rubbish. Charlotte speaks to Essex farmer George Young who is still clearing up the tonnes of rubbish tipped on his land over the summer. A clean-up which has cost around £100,000, only some of which he'll get back through insurance.
This week the programme's looking at farming the sea and Jack Cutforth from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council explains why he hopes more companies will sign-up to their voluntary scheme which aims to maintain and improve standards on fish farms.
Presenter: Charlotte Smith
Producer: Toby Field
Mushrooms are one of the most valuable crops a farmer can produce. But they're also one of the most complicated. They're grown inside in strictly controlled environmental conditions on a variety of substrates. In the UK, we grow 45% of the mushrooms we eat. The rest are imported, mainly from Ireland and Poland.
In this programme, Charlotte Smith explores various methods of mushroom production, and visits a farm small enough in a large farmhouse kitchen!
Presented by Charlotte Smith
Produced by Heather Simons
08/11/19: General Election priorities, Protecting birds of prey, Mushroom safari
Charlotte Smith visits Shipbourne Farmers' Market in Kent to ask stallholders what their priorities are in the upcoming General Election. She hears concerns over provision of rural services, availability of migrant agricultural labour, securing the U.K's fishing rights and yes, you've guessed it, Brexit.
It's also mushroom week on Farming Today and Mariclare Carey Jones has been out with a forager in Llandrindod Wells to find out what the do's and don't's are when picking your own.
A ten year report published today records that since 2009, 66 birds of prey have been killed in Northern Ireland. Conor Macauley reports on a project that's taking money seized from criminals to fit birds of prey with tracking devices which will enable police to get to stationary birds more quickly and see if they're being targeted.
Producer: Toby Field