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This free monthly email service is designed to keep farmers, growers, consultants and vets up-to-date with sector news, as well as relevant new services, literature and training available from the Soil Association.

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Quality Forage: Cuts Costs, Tuesday 17th March, Castle Douglas, 10am–1pm

26 February 2015

A practical morning looking at increasing quantity and quality of home-grown forage and how best to convert to milk and meat, whilst maximising efficiencies of inputs.

Organic- automatic qualifies for the 30% greening

25 February 2015

Farmers can now start to prepare their applications for Basic Payment Scheme, which must be submitted by 15 May. The booklet includes confirmation that licensed organic farmers automatically qualify for the greening element of the Basic Payment Sche...

Organic market shows improved growth

24 February 2015

The Soil Association’s Organic Market report reveals sales of organic products increased by 4% in 2014. The new figures announced today (24 February 2015) show this is significant growth in a year when both food prices and food spending fell. Shoppe...

Comment on NFU concern that the UK is 'losing ability to feed itself'

24 February 2015

In response to the NFU's concern that the UK is ' losing ability to feed itself ' (Telegraph, 22 February 2015), Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett commented:

Watery mouth update

17 February 2015

With lambing fast approaching for many livestock farmers, forward planning for a healthy crop of lambs is of paramount importance. Fine tuning aspects of flock management at this time of year is crucial, especially if ewes are brought in to be house...

MRSA found in pigs in England as European research shows threat of pandemic spread in humans is increasing

06 February 2015

Government scientists have reported the first-ever cases of livestock-associated MRSA in pigs in England [1].

New EU report reveals scale of antibiotic overuse in farming and links it to resistance in human infections

06 February 2015

A new EU report shows for the first time that farm animals account for about two thirds of all antibiotics used in 26 European countries [1][2].

Proposed revision of the EU organic regulation - update

23 January 2015

We have been very involved in the work on the revision that has taken place over the last year and have tried to engage with as many licensees as we can that want to be actively involved in the process. (Anyone wanting to get more involved please ge...

Trainees required at Whitethorn Farm in Herefordshire

22 January 2015

Two Horticultural trainees required at Whitethorn Farm , to start March/April until Autumn (minimum). The work includes sowing, planting, plant husbandry, harvest and packhouse work. Minimum five days a week to include weekends. This is an ideal opp...

Glastir Advanced rules booklet

20 January 2015

The Welsh Government’s online publication ‘Glastir Adanced Rules Booklet 2: Whole Farm Code and Management Options’ contains two errors that may confuse organic farmers.
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Latest blog

Soil and the power of poo

Marianne Landzettel: ‘Give me five more minutes’ signals Gualu Goud as he’s standing on top of one of his five compost heaps working the top layer with a hoe. I met Gualu earlier this month in a village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa). He’s been a cotton farmer for most of his life. Things were ok until about 10 years ago when yields started to drop even though he used increasing amounts of expensive chemical fertilisers. And looking at his soil he felt really bad, there was no life in it, he says.

12 February 2015 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 8