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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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”.

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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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