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  1. Tom Savvides

Farmers put on a show but have concerns over Brexit

The crowds turned up, the sun came out, and traders reported brisk business at the Kent County Show in Detling today.

But despite the good weather, there was concern about the future of farming in the south east.

As Tom Savvides reports.

Tom spoke to Kevin Attwood, the chairman of the Kent Agricultural Society and Environment Minister, Therese Coffey.

His report also has reaction from visitors to the show.

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Royal potato crop is flavour of the season

For many Jersey Royal new potatoes are a delicious eat. They are also a sign that Spring is here, even if the weather suggests otherwise.

Supermarkets are stocking up with the potatoes; 40,000 tonnes are handpicked every year with farmers packing up 80 bags a minute, 24 hours a day.

Our reporter Wesley Smith has been to see the Jersey Royal's journey from field to fork.

Students learn about farm safety

Agricultural students at Abingdon and Witney College will be learning about farm safety today.

It's part of an initiative by the National Farmers Union to try and raise awareness of the risks involved with the industry and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities every year.

They'll be put in real-life situations and have to decide what action to take to prevent accidents happening.

Agricultural students in Abingdon will be taught about farm safety Credit: ITV Meridian

"Young people are such an important target group for this farm safety message as the future of the industry.

"As technology advances within farming, the risk of accidents can actually increase. While the safety of machinery and equipment has improved, the fact that machines can do so much more can make people complacent. It's fantastic to have an outside organisation like the Farm Safety Foundation come in to help us deliver this vital message and for the students to face scenarios they could come across on their own farms when they go home or in their future workplace."

– Pam Willsher, Head of Faculty Land Based Industries & Life Sciences

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Farmer asks: could you adopt some of my hens?

Have you ever kept hens? No? Well now's your chance! A farmer in Sussex needs to find new homes for thousands of them. Regulations on egg producers force them to get rid of the birds when they're only 18 months old. Usually they're slaughtered. But Susie Macmillan is determined that her hens should live out their days peacefully. Malcolm Shaw reports.

The farm's link is here.

Region's fruit 'could be left to rot on the trees' because of higher wages

Fruit farmers are warning that the introduction of the National Living Wage could mean they can't afford to hire seasonal labour. And without the pickers, the fruit would be left to rot on the trees. But politicians say to pay all workers the going rate is essential. John Ryall spoke to Kent fruit farmer David Figgis and the Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle, Huw Merriman.

Nine sheep killed as dogs rampage through field

Police are appealing for information after a flock of sheep were killed and injured on a farm in Sussex. It's thought the ewes - mostly expecting lambs - were attacked by dogs. Nine died and many more were seriously hurt.

Sheep worrying is a constant menace for farmers across our region. Now dog owners are being warned to keep their pets under control, or face prosecution. Malcolm Shaw reports.

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