Scientists in Norwich are working on a new form of barley that is resistant to extreme hot and dry conditions
Producers look to increase yeilds
Thousands of people are expected at the East of England Show in Peterborough today, despite fears of bad weather.
A sophisticated new computer system has been installed at a carrot processing factory near Peterborough.
The machine, at the Produce World factory at Yaxley, uses cameras to take upto 40 photos of each carrot.
The images are then computer analysed to make sure that the colour, length and shape are all within set specifications.
The machine can process 80,000 carrots an hour.
After a year of drought followed by flooding, farmers could look increasingly to science and technology for help in tackling changing weather patterns.
That's the message from this year's Norfolk Farming Conference which is taking place at the John Innes centre in Norwich.
With rising food costs and a growing population the industry is pushing for solutions, like GM crops, developed and grown in the ITV Anglia region.
The future of the agriculture and food sector in Suffolk is being discussed today. Farmers, industry leaders and local authorities will meet at an agricultural conference. Globally production will need to increase by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 to meet resources.
– Councillor Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council
The success and growth of the county's agricultural sector is vital not only to Suffolk but to the rest of the country. With both Suffolk and Norfolk combined producing nearly half of England's sugar beet, turkeys and ducks, a quarter of all pigs and geese, and a fifth of the potatoes, vegetables, salads and peas, it is a sector that simply cannot be forgotten. A thriving agricultural and food sector in Suffolk can also help to rebalance the economy and deliver growth to the county."
The conference will look at how Suffolk can meet this challenge by discussing:
- Jobs and the future workforce
- Water and resources
- Planning and infrastructure
- Market and supply chains
– Chris Bushby, Executive Director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association
A number of challenges lie ahead, including filling the skills gap, the effect of climate change on crops, and exploring how to increase crop yield whilst protecting the land. However here in Suffolk we are well placed to face head on these difficulties. We have a good climate, large markets, a dynamic food processing sector and a world class knowledge base."
Farmers in the ITV Anglia region are being warned that the Schmallenberg virus may return once the lambing season starts.
The Department for Rural Affairs has announced it has now spread across the country but it's hoping that flocks affected earlier in the year may have built up a resistance. Kate Prout reports.
Dairy farmers from the East of England will be attending a national summit in Westminster today (Wednesday 11 July).
Bedfordshire farmer and President of the National Farmers' Union Peter Kendall will address the meeting together with Cambridgeshire MP and Agriculture Minister Jim Paice.
Dairy farmers are worried that they're being forced to accept less money from their milk by some retailers.
They say many producers will be forced out of the industry.