Farming Today

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Farming Today
Genre Farming & rural affairs news
Running time 14 mins (05.45) Weekdays, 25 mins (06.35) Saturday
Country UK
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Host(s) Anna Hill, Charlotte Smith, Sybil Ruscoe
Editor(s) Dimitri Houtart
Producer(s) Emma Campbell, Anna Jones, Jules Benham, Lucy Bickerton
Recording studio BBC Bristol
Air dates since September 1960
Website Farming Today
Podcast Podcasts

Farming Today is a radio programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the United Kingdom.


It is broadcast each weekday (but pre-recorded the day before) between 5.45 and 6.00 a.m. and a longer programme is broadcast on Saturdays (Farming Today This Week) from 06.35 – 7.00 a.m. Around one million people listen to the programme. Margaret Thatcher and other Prime Ministers have been regular listeners.


It began as a 15-minute programme in September 1960 broadcast at 7:15 am on Network Three (from Holme Moss, Pontop Pike, Douglas and Sandale only) in the north of England, which was the educational broadcasting network of the BBC Third Programme. In mid-1961 it moved to 07.00. Also from 1962 on the Home Service (later to become Radio 4) was the ten-minute Farm Bulletin at 06.40. By 1964, Network 3 had become the Third Network and the programme had moved to 07.45.

In late August 1964 it moved to its present position on the BBC Home Service, replacing the ten-minute Farm Bulletin, starting at 06.35. On a Saturday it was still 15 minutes, at the same time, but there was the half-hour On Your Farm from 07.15 (now from 06.35-06.57 on Sundays). In October 1967, the Home Service became Radio 4. From the early 1970s, it was also carried at the same time by Radio Wales.

In 1974 it moved to 06.22, then to 06.10 in 1978, directly before the Shipping Forecast at 06.25, later followed by Prayer for the Day in the 1980s.

In early April 1998, when the Radio 4 schedule was largely spruced up, the programme moved to its current time of 05.45, directly preceded by Prayer for the Day.


It explores issues of current concern to farmers, fishermen and others with an interest in countryside issues. It does include many topics about the relationship between ecology (sustainable production methods or organic farming) and farmers, but will look at topics from a farmer's point of view.

Farmers, environmentalists, politicians, the Soil Association and National Farmers Union leaders are amongst those regularly interviewed for the programme.

Range of topics[edit]

Recent topics have included

Farmers look after 75% of the land in the UK


The programme's current presenters include Anna Hill, Charlotte Smith, Caz Graham, Sybil Ruscoe and Sarah Swadling.

Former presenters[edit]

  • Robin Hicks - from 1968 to 1977, when the programme was live and transmitted from London.[1] Later the programme team moved to Birmingham and produced a recorded edition with presenters Miriam O'Reilly and Mark Holdstock

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herald Scotland Interview 1993. Retrieved 31 October 2014

External links[edit]

News items[edit]