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  1. Rajiv Popat

Robotic milking machines & the farming revolution

Farmers are embracing the latest technologies to make their farms more efficient and productive, and that means using everything from robotic milking machines, to drones to monitor livestock.

They say the industry is becoming increasingly competitive and moving with the times is the key to boosting profits. Rajiv Popat reports from the NEC in Birmingham.

Floods cost Worcestershire farmer more than £61k

Stephen Watkins' farm was badly affected by the flooding Credit: ITV News Central

A farmer in Worcestershire says he is more than £61,000 out of pocket because of this year's floods.

Stephen Watkins, who has a farm in Severn Stoke, has cleared three of his fields, but still has 53 more to go.

Stephen Watkins' farm looked like this a month ago Credit: ITV News Central

Later today, the Farming Minister, George Eustice MP, will appear before a select committee to answer questions about the recent floods.


Ploughing match raises money for flooded farmers

One of today's competitors taking part in the fundraising ploughing match Credit: ITV News Central/Keith Wilkinson

Farmers from across the region have taken part in a ploughing match to raise money for their colleagues hit by recent flooding in the Midlands & the South West.

More than 70 historic tractors took part in the match to raise money for farms affected by flooding Credit: ITV News Central/Keith Wilkinson

The event at Elm's Wood farm in Market Bosworth on the Leicestershire & Warwickshire border was organised by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

One of the newer tractors and ploughs being used in today's contest Credit: ITV News Central/Keith Wilkinson

More than 70 farmers took part using some of the latest, and the oldest technology to plough their section of field.

A manually controlled plough from the 1920s when digging up a field was a two man job Credit: ITV News Central/Keith Wilkinson

Worcester farmer loses crops due to floods

Much of Worcestershire has been under water since the Severn burst its banks Credit: Environment Agency

A farmer in Worcester says he has lost the majority of his crops following the severe flooding.

Stephen Watkins was hit in 2007 but says this time round it has been even worse.

He says whole trees have fallen into the river, causing it to slow down and spill over onto his wheat, spring onions, peas and beans crops.

Farmer 'fleeced' as thieves steal more than 100 lambs

Each of the stolen 121 lambs were marked with a 'B' in red ink Credit: Staffordshire Police

An investigation is underway after sheep rustlers stole more than 100 lambs from a farm in Staffordshire.

121 nine-month-old Texel cross ewes were taken from Perton Mill Farm on Bridgnorth Road between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, after thieves broke into a secure field.

Staffordshire Police has issued a photo showing how each of the lambs were marked with a 'B' in red ink.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information to ring 101 quoting incident 285 of 28 December, or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


  1. Calendar

Lincolnshire farmer welcomes Government action to stop spread of bovine TB

A farmer from Lincolnshire says he's pleased the Government's taking action to prevent the spread of bovine TB, but that more still needs to be done.

Jonathan Brant from Caistor says he does not agree with culling all badgers, but thinks those that are infected and can spread the disease should be killed. Kate Hemingway reports.

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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