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.
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.
The owner of a dog that attacked two sheep near Playden in Sussex is being sought by police.
The German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois dog was spotted in fields in the Bowlers Town area, off the A268 Rye Road.
It was standing by the two badly injured sheep around 10.30am on Monday but ran off when approached by the landowner. It was black and tan and wearing a black harness with a large silver disc attached to its collar.
One of the sheep died at the scene and the other had to be put down due to the severity of its injuries.
Sussex Police said: 'Dogs should always be kept under full control, ideally on leads, especially while walking where there is livestock. Owners also need to check their own boundary fences and keep their dogs contained within their own property."
It's shaping up as a challenging year for the region's farmers - a year that started with hundreds of acres of farmland swamped by floods.
But the sun shone today for the start of the South of England Show and the message to consumers from farmers was simple - buy local.
Andy Dickenson was there and spoke to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP, Minette Batters of the NFU, and Michael Lambert of the South of England Society.
Oxfordshire farmer John Hook says more needs to be done for farmers whose businesses suffered during the recent floods. He's calling for better management from the Environment Agency. The Government though says a special £10 million fund is available for those eligible. Cary Johnston reports.
Farming Minister, George Eustice has been visiting an organic dairy farm in Oxfordshire which exports cream, milk and cheese.
Step Farm in Faringdon plans to increase its business by 75%. The site is part of a dairy co-operative which exported 40m litres of milk, cheese and cream to European and American markets last year.
The farm belongs to OMSCo (Organic Milk Suppliers' Co-operative) farms, which recently launched Kingdom Cheese, the first European cheese to be certified by the US Department of Agriculture to be sold in the USA.
The Government is working with industry to boost the UK's food and drink exports. The sector is already worth £97 billion a year to the economy.
The construction of the High Speed 2 rail line will completely destroy the livelihoods of farmers, according to the union that represents them.
The National Farmers' Union says there are 23 farms along the proposed route in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire which would be seriously affected.
The government says farmers will be compensated - but landowners say the fields left behind would be un-useable. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.
The effects of the weather are felt further than homes and shops of course - the rain and wind is hitting farms across the south-east. So what will that mean for crops this year - and prices in the shops?
David Johns has been investigating, talking to farmers Kevin Attwood and Philip Acock as well as farm manager Ian Witherden.
The NFU will celebrate the English apple season with Kent consumers, with visitors being able to sample new season apples.
It is all part of NFU's campaign and petition to 'Back British Farming'.
It has been launched to highlight the decline in the country's self-sufficiency, with aims to boost production and consumption of home-grown food.
More than 1400 people and organisations have already signed the petition, including Waitrose, The Cooperative and celebrity chef James Martin.
Kent NFU chairman James Smith said, "We have had a fabulous response to the Back British Farming campaign so far from MP's, supermarkets and from members of the public. We hope to encourage many more people to sign up to our charter over the coming days."
Drivers in Kent opted for reverse gear this morning when they were confronted by a bull. The animal appeared on the slip road joining the London-bound A2 from Canterbury.
The video was taken by ITV journalist Jamie Stephens, who said: "I joined the queue just behind the lead vehicles and was initially unaware what had happened as the road was empty ahead, with only a lorry and a van in front of me.
"Then a VERY large bull poked its head round the corner - seemed totally unconcerned at its whereabouts and spent the next 20 minutes wandering across the two carriageways, stopping every once in a while to sniff the odd bonnet.
"No one was quite sure what to do as the bull was more than capable of doing a lot of damage if it wanted to. As a result we all just sat there scratching our heads.
"I'm not entirely sure what happened to the bull, but I suspect a farmer may have led it away. It disappeared after about 20 minutes and the traffic started moving again."