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My Blog : Farmers Guardian

As wind and rain lashes the UK, it seems an appropriate note for what can sometimes be a wet agricultural show season.

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Charles Bruce farms near Banff, Aberdeenshire, and has 98 hectares (242 acres) of owned land, 76ha (188 acres) of malting barley which is contract farmed, and rented seasonal grazings extending to 40ha (99 acres). Running an 80-cow fold of pedigree Highland cattle, these are used to supply an on-farm butchery business and his Bogside Farm Shop. There is a commercial ewe flock of about 230-head and a trout fishery is also run as part of the business.

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Henry Gent farms 120ha (300 acres) and the same area again on short-term agreements, all grazing, near Exeter. All land is organic and he sells milk from his 300 cows to the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative. Married, with grown up children, he has a team of five people looking after the dairy herd and followers and also runs chickens which go to a local abattoir.

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Young Farmer Focus: Dominic Bloxham, Bednall, Staffordshire

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Dominic Bloxham, 25, farms 250 dairy cows on 129 hectares (320 acres) owned land and 24ha (60 acres) rented land on the family dairy farm in Bednall, South Staffordshire. The farm also sells milk to Wells Farm Dairy and grows 4ha (10 acres) of pumpkins every year.

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Phil farms 385ha (950 acres) in Cheshire, split between the family farm on Lord Cholmondeley’s estate and Organsdale Farm near Tarporley. He milks 300 cows, mainly pedigree Brown Swiss, as well as diversifying into business units and an equestrian facility. He is also a Nuffield Scholar. Twitter: @PhilLatham

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Young Farmer Focus: John Wrench, Hawarden, Flintshire

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John Wrench, 32, farms in partnership with his parents and grandparents on 188 hectares (467 acres) of beef and arable rented land from Hawarden estate. He farms 200 mixed breed bullocks, 19ha (48 acres) of winter wheat, 14ha (36 acres) of barley and grows 48ha (120 acres) of maize.

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Henry Gent farms 120ha (300 acres) and the same area again on short-term agreements, all grazing, near Exeter. All land is organic and he sells milk from his 300 cows to the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative. Married, with grown up children, he has a team of five people looking after the dairy herd and followers and also runs chickens which go to a local abattoir.

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By Olivia Midgley

 

Farming is under attack this week. And while we are often in the firing line of various campaign groups, recent activity has taken things to a new level.

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Agriculture is a thirsty business. Between keeping livestock healthy, crops watered and washing down equipment, running a farm requires substantial amounts of water. It is little wonder the sector is estimated to represent around 70 per cent of total global water use.

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Turn back the clock 44 years and it appears many of the issues facing the farming industry when the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) were the same as the week in which Theresa May triggered the country’s exit from Europe.

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