Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Building blocks for a new countryside
Farmers and landowners are often concerned about the prospect of tax changes if a Labour government comes to power. A perennial fear is a hike in capital gains tax – or even the introduction of a yet more punitive ‘development tax’. With Keir Starmer’s party tipped to win the... Read more
Funding needed to combat crime in the countryside
More funding is needed to combat the criminal gangs who are targeting the countryside, say campaigners. Organised criminals – including those linked to the international drug trade – are increasingly preying on rural communities, suggests the latest report commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network. The report was written... Read more
Biodiversity Net Gain is ‘opportunity for farmers’
New rules requiring developers to replace wildlife habitats destroyed during construction projects could provide an opportunity for farmers. After years of proposals, the Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) policy came into effect on 12 February. It means developments of 10 or more dwellings must deliver at least 10% improvement in... Read more
New rights could make diversification easier
Farmers and landowners could find it easier to convert old buildings into new homes following changes to permitted development rights. The UK is facing a national shortage of good quality and affordable homes, so a raft of new measures have been suggested to stop unnecessary planning red tape slowing... Read more
Thousands apply for Sustainable Farming Incentive
  More than 10,000 farmers have now applied to join the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) – and receive payments actions that support food production and the environment. One-in-eight eligible farmers having submitted applications for the Defra scheme in the four months since it re-opened last September. This is on... Read more
Non-farmers snap up half of all farmland sold last year
Non-farmers purchased more than half of all farms sold on the open market last year, suggest the latest figures from land agents Strutt & Parker. Farmers accounted for the lowest level of transactions on record during 2023 – equivalent to only 44% of open market transactions during the year... Read more
Simpler approach to SFI can deliver bigger benefits
A step-by-step approach will help growers get the most from the government’s Sustainable Farming Incentive – delivering bigger benefits for farm businesses and for the environment, say advisers. “While 2024 has started with the promise of numerous new SFI options to be introduced during the summer, coupled to a... Read more
Securing your water rights is more important than ever
EXPERT VIEW Abstraction restrictions mean it’s time to take action on irrigation, says Melvyn Kay. Eastern region farmers who irrigate crops are facing 40-60% cuts to their abstraction licences, according to Water Resources East. The reductions are a stark illustration that demand for water for food production is under... Read more
Fram Farmers appoints new board members
Farming cooperative Fram Farmers has announced two new appointments to its board – arable grower Rob Raven (left) and dairy producer Tom Halton  (right). Based on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, Mr Raven started introducing more sustainable, regenerative methods to his farm in the early 2000s. He now incorporates livestock, cover... Read more
Prepare for ‘imminent’ launch of latest productivity grant
More farmers will be able to apply for funding to improve their productivity this year, says the government. Changes to Round Two of the Improving Farm Productivity grants scheme aim to benefit a broader range of agricultural and horticultural applications, says Defra. The second round of the scheme is... Read more