Welcome to Technically Speaking - the newsletter from the NFU's Science & Regulatory Affairs team! You can either click on one of our top stories above or scroll down for more news below. But, before you go, why not catch up on what some of our team have been up to over the last month or so:
Chief Science & Regulatory Affairs Adviser, Dr Helen Ferrier, has been continuing work to underpin decisions on farming with a robust evidence base:“I have been working closely with the Director of KE at AHDB to drive forward our proposal for a ‘What Works for Farming’ initiative. Modelled on a government concept, this will bring together industry, science community and government to give those working in both policy and practice a robust evidence base for their decision-making. This month we have met the National What Works Adviser and Head of the Behavioural Insights Team, David Halpern, with the Head of the What Works Network in the Cabinet Office.”
Meanwhile, Senior Plant Health Adviser, Emma Hamer, has been looking at opportunities to develop Integrated Pest Management:"This month I have been focussing on Integrated Pest Management or IPM. I have been speaking with technical experts from Tesco, other European Farming Unions, the National Crops Board and the VI Steering Group Meeting of wider stakeholders on how NFU members are implementing IPM on farm and some of the exciting new technologies which are coming over the horizon. But also where there are knowledge gaps and where we need more research and development to answer our crop protection problems, especially in light of the rapid removal of active ingredients from the crop protection toolbox."
In the fourth Bitesized Brexit podcast, acting director for the British Agricultural Bureau in Brussels, Tom Keen, provides analysis of last weekend’s European Commission vote and an insight into the NFU's activity in Brussels.
Take a digital flick through a new, easy-to-use guide from the HSE and compare your farm to what a good farm should look like in terms of health and safety.
Plant health news from Brussels
Early in November, the European Commission launched a new action plan to tackle the potential health and environmental dangers of Endocrine Disruptors. New EU rules that prohibit the use of such substances in plant protection products are likely to have an impact on the availability of pesticides.
The Rodenticide Resistance Action Committee (RRAC) is working with the University of Reading to map resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides across the UK and your help is needed to fill gaps in the data and ensure the map is up-to-date.
Metaldehyde in the Thames Catchment
If we cannot keep metaldehyde out of drinking water sources, its use could be severely restricted or even banned. To illustrate the problem, the water companies in the Thames basin have been updating us on metaldehyde concentrations through November: 30 November|23 November| 16 November|9 November|2 November
Researcher and trainee clinical psychologist, Laura Phalp, is investigating the relationship between adverse events on farms and thoughts of suicide and you can help by completing a 20-minute questionnaire.
Biotechnology in the UK: The NFU sees biotechnology as a critical part of the solution in helping British farmers and growers meet some of the production challenges they face and you can catch up on the latest developments here.
National news from NFU HQ is an email service offered to all NFU members and staff only. For more information on anything you have read, please visit www.nfuonline.com or call NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy neither the NFU nor the author can accept liability for errors and omissions.