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27/09/2013

Duration:
13 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 27 September 2013

What can farmers do about climate change? On the day the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes its latest report, Charlotte Smith looks at the role farming could play in saving the planet. According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, livestock farming makes up 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Charlotte speaks to Professor Bob Rees, head of the Carbon Management Centre at Scotland's Rural College and asks if livestock farming really is the bad guy.

The UK has a bumper crop of oats, but the glut is not good news for farmers. Since this time last year the price has fallen by around 35% from £188 per tonne to £120 per tonne - that's lower than feed wheat and barley.

And from surplus oats to super wheat! Scientists at Rothamsted Research are using a Synchotron - a sort of mini version of the large hadron collider - to find out how wheat stores important minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. We humans can't digest them for ourselves so researchers are looking for ways to unlock the nutrition in the grain.

And all this week Farming Today has been quaffing, nosing and swirling a whole range of homegrown beverages. Anna Hill visits Adnams brewery in Suffolk and finds out how keeping up with the times has meant a wholesale review of their partnerships with barley farmers in the region, re-investing in new brewing equipment and moving into distilling vodka and gin.

Presented by Charlotte Smith, and produced by Anna Jones.

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