Agricultural Policy

Don’t Become a Farm Fatality Statistic this Year, FUW Urges Farmers

Agriculture is known to be one of the most dangerous professions, which often sees farmers and farm workers working in solitude, challenging weather conditions and in stressful situations.
The figures published in the Health and Safety Executive’s report 'Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2018/19' show 39 people were killed as a result of farming and other agriculture-related activities during the year. This number is 6 more than last year and 6 more than the 5-year average of 33. Nearly half of the agricultural workers killed were over 60 and transport, such as overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles, caused most deaths.

Together with our partners in the Wales Farm Safety Partnership, the FUW is working on raising awareness and reducing the risk of harm faced by those in the industry. The aim for the first 3 months this year is to bring better awareness of transport and machinery incidents. Here are the key points of advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for ATVs:

  • Carry out safety checks and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, e.g. regularly check tyre pressures, brakes and throttle;
  • Secure loads on racks and make sure they are not overloaded and evenly balanced;
  • Always read and follow the owner’s manual;
  • Stick to planned routes, where possible, and walk new routes if necessary to check for hidden obstructions, hollows or other hazards;
  • Take extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability;
  • Make sure all riders receive adequate training.

And remember, always wear a suitable helmet! For more information and advice, please click here.

Royal Veterinary College Seeks Views On Calf Housing Strategies

As part of a large PhD project, the Royal Veterinary College have produced a survey which aims to gather information about how UK dairy farmers are currently housing and managing their pre-weaning heifer calves.

The College is particularly interested in identifying whether calves are individually or group housed, as well as farmers’ opinions about these different housing options. The information will be used to develop a better understanding of current UK calf housing strategies, and will assist in directing further work to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a given system.

Participation in this survey is entirely voluntary and it will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The data collected from the survey will be completely anonymised and will remain confidential.



FUW Winter Fair Communications Survey Shows Positive Results

Thank you to everyone that filled in our FUW communications based survey at the Winter Fair a few months ago. More than 130 surveys were filled in by members visiting the FUW stand at the show. The results help inform what we do and we aim to use them to develop our communication methods in 2020.

We know that broadband speed is an issue for many. Around two thirds of those filling in the survey rated their broadband as excellent, good or moderate, whereas the remaining third stated that their broadband was poor or they were unable to have broadband. This is better than anticipated, but when we mapped the data we found that there are no distinctive areas or regions where these results apply.

When it comes to FUW communications, the survey results showed that the top 3 preferred methods of communication were email, Y Tir and Facebook. It is positive to see that half of those surveyed read the Farmers’ Monthly e-bulletin which is, of course, sent by email.

We are always interested in feedback from our members and we continue to learn and grow. All in all, the majority of the comments we received on FUW communications were really positive which gives us a good starting point for the year ahead!


Farming Connect Skills And Training Application Window Now Open

The Farming Connect January - February Skill and Training application window is now open until 5pm Friday 28 February 2020.

The programme allows anyone registered with Farming Connect to apply for funding of up to 80% towards completing short training courses. The full list of courses available can be viewed here and further information is available here.

Before applying, you must; (i) be registered with Farming Connect, (ii) access the Business Wales (BOSS) website via Sign on Cymru here, and (iii) complete an online Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Once completing the above, you will be able to complete the training application form on BOSS and you will be notified about the outcome of your application by around the 20th of March. Successful applicants will have to complete their desired course within 9 months of the notification.

For applicants registering for the first time during this application window in order to apply for a funded course or to update their account details, please contact Farming Connect before 5pm Monday 24 February on 08456 000 813.


Farming Connect Launch Demonstration Farm Projects

Farming Connect have launched a range of projects on 18 demonstration farms that were recruited in early 2019. There are projects applicable to red meat, dairy, poultry, arable and forestry. Each project will evaluate the financial and physical impact on the respective business, and the results will be presented as open days at each of the sites during 2020.

Examples of the projects taking place include; improving the profitability, sustainability and efficiency of finishing bull beef by utilizing homegrown grain, examining the optimum conception weight and condition for ewe lambs, and increasing the utilisation of grazed grass to produce more milk.

New technology, such as electrical conductivity, will also be trialled to produce soil maps. Interested members can attend the appropriate open days to learn more about these projects. For a full list of projects, please click here.


COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers


In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: 


Important links relating to the Coronavirus:

The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus:

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here:

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020:

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses):

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders:

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus:

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020:

Senedd Research Blog: