The Carmarthen branch of Farmers’ Union of Wales is seeking nominations for the 2019 FUW - United Counties Agriculture and Hunters Society Award for the person judged to have made the most Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Carmarthenshire during the past few years.
The judges will include representatives from the FUW, FUW Insurance Services Ltd and the United Counties Agricultural and Hunters Society. The award will be presented at the FUW’s prestigious Eve of the Welsh Dairy Show event.
FUW Carmarthenshire County Executive Officer David Waters said: “The nomination should be in the form of a letter or citation giving full details of the work and achievement of the nominee with great emphasis on the positive or beneficial effect on agriculture in Carmarthenshire.”
Farmers in Denbighshire and Flintshire are being urged to attend a special health and safety event organised by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
The event, which will focus on cattle handling, ATV’s and First Aid, is held on Friday 6 September at Plas Bedw, Pentrecelyn, starting at 10am.
This year’s figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that farming, forestry and fishing has just leap-frogged over the construction industry in the number of deaths whilst working.
Agriculture and forestry come out worst, with a rate of injury some 18 times and 17 times as high as the average across all industries.
FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones said: “It’s time to take farm safety seriously - the latest death toll makes the industry the most dangerous in the UK. 32 people have lost their lives working on British farms over the last 12 months. It is not a record to be proud of.
“The truth is that farming is a Farmers urged to attend health and safety event hazardous industry. We work with potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, at height or near pits and silos. And top of the list of dangers are farm vehicles, from ATVs to Land Rovers and telehandlers.
The announcement by J J Morris Auctioneers that Cardigan Animal Market will close next month, has been described as another blow for the industry by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
According to the auctioneer the final market will be held on Monday, 9 September. It is believed that the closure of Cardigan mart will not affect markets in Crymych and Whitland.
The reasons for closing the mart have been reported to include rising costs, reduced animals and TB outbreaks in the area.
FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas responded to the news saying: “This announcement comes just weeks after we heard that Cowbridge market is closing and can only be described as another blow for our industry.
“The auctioneers have valid reasons for closing the site and it won’t have been an easy decision for them to make.
The Anglesey branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales enjoyed a busy two-day county show (Tuesday 13 August - Wednesday 14 August), with #FarmingMatters chats, children's competitions and plenty of entertainment keeping visitors to the stand entertained.
Members raised specific farming matters with Rhun ap Iorwerth AM and Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM at an open surgery, with a strong focus on the current Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation.
Those concerned about rural crime stopped by for advice on how to keep their property and livestock safe, with ‘Quad Claw’ and Arfon Jones North Wales Police, Police and Crime Commissioner and the North Wales rural crime team on hand to help.
Speaking after the event, FUW Vice President Eifion Huws said: “This year’s show was fantastic once again and I thank the organisers and everyone who joined us for making it such a success.
“Farming is facing an uncertain future for so many reasons and we raised some of our concerns with our politicians at the show. Because the UK Government is determined to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, deal or no deal, members feel that they haven’t got enough time to fully consider what is being proposed in the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation.
Farmers from Denbighshire and Flintshire have raised concerns about the timing of the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation with politicians, including Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, at the local county show (Thursday 15 August).
FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones highlighted that the Farmers’ Union of Wales has raised concerns since early July regarding the clash between the response deadline (30 October) and the date on which the UK is due to leave the EU (31 October).
She said: “The FUW has welcomed a Welsh Government commitment to keep the deadline under review, however, given the UK Government’s determination to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, deal or no deal, our members now believe it is imperative that the deadline be extended.”
Speaking at the show after a meeting with Mrs Griffiths, FUW Denbighshire county chairman Dylan Roberts said: "Members here in Denbighshire share the Welsh Government's concerns regarding the impacts of a no-deal Brexit and welcome the commitment to supporting agriculture.
Farmers are being urged to remember hedge cutting regulations to avoid a cross compliance penalty on their BPS payment.
FUW policy officer Bernard Griffiths said: “Most farmers will remember that they are not allowed to cut trees or hedges between 1 March to 31 August. If they don’t comply with the rules, they could face a hefty cross compliance penalty on their BPS payment which is avoidable.
“There are exceptions to the standard rule, but only if the conditions are met can farmers start cutting early. We therefore urge our members to make sure they don’t fall foul by accident.”
Only on arable land, where the normal agricultural practice requires that a winter arable crop is planted before 31 August, are farmers able to cut back the relevant hedges or trees from 1 August.
That exception only applies as long as nesting birds are not disturbed.
“So before you start cutting the hedge you have to check thoroughly to ensure that you will not disturb any breeding or rearing bird,” added Mr Griffiths.