|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
|Genre||Farming & rural affairs news|
|Running time||14 mins (05.45) Weekdays, 25 mins (06.35) Saturday|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Host(s)||Anna Hill, Charlotte Smith|
|Producer(s)||Emma Campbell, Anna Jones, Jules Benham, Lucy Bickerton|
|Recording studio||BBC Bristol|
|Air dates||since September 1960|
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.
Range of topics
Recent topics have included
- Foot-and-mouth disease
- Bluetongue disease (cattle)
- Badger culling (for bovine TB prevention)
- GM food and crops (biotechnology)
- Pesticides and organic farming
- Common Agricultural Policy
- Common Fisheries Policy