New season late in South Holland

Stafford Proctor.
Stafford Proctor.

March 20 marked the start of spring, but nature is being held back by the cold soil and air temperatures. Wheat, oilseed rape and fruit bud are comparable with a normal season, but two to three weeks behind last year, writes Stafford Proctor, local NFU branch chairman.

March 20 marked the start of spring, but nature is being held back by the cold soil and air temperatures. Wheat, oilseed rape and fruit bud are comparable with a normal season, but two to three weeks behind last year. Locally, pea, bean and sugar beet drilling will mainly be completed this week.

Across Lincolnshire, farmers have been talking to MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates before the General Election. Our duty as farmers is to grow crops to feed a growing population. However, we have ever increasing quality standards to meet while having the ‘tools to do the job’ removed; the EU is considering restrictions in the choice and use of many pesticides. Such critical decisions to our food security need to be science based rather than emotive and populist. We need to make politicians and the public aware that non-science based policies will lead to further reductions in the UK’s food security and a greater reliance on food imports produced to lower crop safety and environmental standards.

Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Agriculture, recently visited the region and shared concerns over rising sea levels and climate change. Regionally the Environment Agency is working with local authorities, IDBs and farmers to develop a programme to improve future flood defences around the Wash.