As the lambing season gets underway, Farming Today is turning the spotlight on sheep. There are around 33 million of them in the UK, producing meat and wool for both the home market and export.
Today, we're starting with lambs. Figures show that in flocks in the lowlands, around 18% of newborns don't make it - and that figure is even higher in the uplands. Despite decades of research into neonatal lamb deaths the situation isn't improving, which raises questions about animal welfare as well as having an impact on the farm's bottom line.
Scotland's Rural College is running a 'Live Lamb' project: working with five focus farms across the country, in a bid to cut the mortality rate. Nancy Nicolson has been to see one of the participants, the Glensaugh Research Station, about 30 miles south of Aberdeen.
Globally, nearly half of agricultural land is used for to grow food for livestock - while more than a fifth of wild caught fish are fed to animals as well.
The not-for-profit environmental organisation Forum for the Future says this is unsustainable, and is calling for increased scrutiny of how livestock are fed as well as greater use of alternative feeds.
Their report 'The Feed Behind Our Food' - produced on conjunction with multi-national food companies and environmental charities - calls for change in what farmed animals eat, as its author Simon Billing explains.
Discussions about farm technology tend to focus on drones, driverless tractors and other potentially revolutionary and expensive pieces of kit. Today though, Farming Today hears about innovation on a more affordable scale. 17-year-old Eifion Jones from Powys has come up with the 'easy fencer', which was recognised at the Wales Innovation Awards. He believes machinery that can be operated safely and efficiently by a lone farmer is the shape of things to come. Mari Grug went to meet him.