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  1. Mike Pearse

Farmers worried about losing land to HS2 rail route

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.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Flood fear for South East farms

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.

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NFU celebrate apple season with Kent consumers

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."

Reverse out of here......FAST!

Click video.

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."

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REPORT: Schmallenberg vaccine released

It's a vaccine to combat a disease that causes severe birth defects and miscarriages in livestock - and it is going on sale in Britain for the first time.

It's welcome news for the region's farmers who've become increasingly concerned about the spread of the Schmallenberg virus in cattle and sheep. Latest figures showed more than 1,500 cases of it across the country.

Penny Silvester speaks to farmer David Barber, John Fishwick from Royal Veterinary College and Alick Simmons Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer.

Schmallenberg virus 'devastated our flocks'

Sheep on a farm in Oxfordshire Credit: ITV News Meridian

Farmers have told ITV News Meridian that anything which can prevent the spread of the Schmallenberg virus would be very welcome because the disease 'devastated livestock in the South'.

At the beginning of this year more than 50 farms across the Meridian regions were reporting symptoms of the virus.

ITV News reporter Penny Silvester speaks to farmers about the devastating impact of Schmallenberg Credit: ITV News Meridian

New vaccine to stop Schmallenberg virus

Farmers in the South and South East say they are optimistic that a new vaccine will help stop the spread of a deadly disease which causes severe birth defects and miscarriages in livestock.

Schmallenberg virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011 and has been seen in cattle and sheep in the UK since early 2012, has been identified on more than 1,700 farms across the country.

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