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Preventing rural crime

Raising awareness of rural crime Credit: Derbyshire Police

A group messaging service is being launched by Derbyshire Police to help spread crime prevention advice in rural areas. Hundreds of people can be contacted at the same time if, for example, a suspicious vehicle is spotted.

Members of the Farm Watch scheme will get:

A text, email or voicemail alert service

Practical crime prevention advice

A property marking scheme

A dedicated web page

Warning signs for gates and property

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Rocketing potato prices force chips off school menu

Potatoes will be a rare sight on school dinner menus in Nottinghamshire, because Nottinghamshire County Council say they are simply too expensive.

Rise in price of potatoes Credit: PA

The price of potatoes trebled in just a year, from £91 a tonne in 2012, to £295 a tonne this year.

Bad weather conditions are being blamed for the price hike, with many crops producing lower yields of poorer quality.

Farmer Edward Hammond, of Morton Manor Farm in Southwell, said: “The conditions just do not make for a good spud and this is hitting us all very hard.”

Cheaper alternatives like rice and noodles will be served more often Credit: PA

Catering companies and local chip shops are also affected.

Julie Charalambous, who runs the Rectory Fish Bar in West Bridgford, said: “Prices are the highest they’ve been since 1976 and we are struggling to survive”.

  1. National

Weetabix halts production of two cereals after poor harvest

In a statement Weetabix have confirmed that they have had to halt production of two cereals due to the impact of last year's bad weather on the wheat crops.

We can confirm that unfortunately due to technical issues we have been unable to make Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize to our exacting standards and have taken the decision to reduce production to resolve the issues.

This has meant a shortage of supplies of these products to the retailers.

This is a temporary reduction in production and we are working hard to fully restore normal capacity so our consumers can once again enjoy the products at their best quality.

The Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize range are made in a unique factory and no other produce made by The Weetabix Food Company are affected. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may have caused our consumers but assure them of our commitment to make great tasting nutritional breakfast cereals of the highest quality.

The problem is linked to the quality of wheat caused by the extreme wet and cold weather during last year’s growing season. We remain committed to sourcing local wheat, weather permitting.

– Weetabix statement

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Most of farmer's lambs free from Schmallenberg virus

Sheep at Waterloo Lodge Farm Credit: ITV News Central

A farmer from Hungarton, north of Leicester, is relieved that the majority of his new born lambs are free from the Schmallenberg virus, which killed 40 per cent of his flock earlier this year.

Charles Sercome, farmer of Waterloo Lodge Farm, told ITV News Central that he would have been forced out of business if his latest flock had been infected.

The Schmallenberg virus is spread when midges bite pregnant ewes and lead to lambs developing severe abnormalities.

Waterloo Lodge Farm Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds attend NFU conference in Birmingham, full report

Floods, tuberculosis and the horsemeat scandal have resulted in a "diabolical year" for farmers across the Midlands.

Hundreds have attended the National Farmers Union conference in Birmingham, expressing their concerns and trying to find solutions.

There is now warning it could be another tough year ahead.

Keith Wilkinson reports.

Pork found in some beef samples tested by Leicestershire County Council

Pork has been found in some beef samples tested by Leicestershire County Council Credit: PA

Leicestershire Trading Standards officials say they may be taking enforcement action against the suppliers of beef products that contain pork.

Leicestershire is one of 28 local authorities asked by the Food Standards Agency to make random tests on beef products in supermarkets and takeaway outlets.

Of the eight venues they visited two of the beef samples were found to contain pork.

Suleman Nagdi from the Federation of Muslim Organisations says their religion does not allow them to eat pork at all and he's calling on the government to take urgent action against the suppliers of mislabelled or contaminated meat.

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