South Holland grower Stafford Proctor: 'We need to be resilient with the food supply'
Most local wheat and barley crops are now harvested.
Three quarters of our wheat was drilled in the spring which has only produced half the yield of our winter wheats.
The UK crop has dropped from 16 million tonnes to below 10 million tonnes.
Mother Nature has been forcing farmers to rethink farming methods.
Climate change, extreme weather events and COVID-19 have shown the fragility of the UK food supply.
This has led to the formation of the Food Standards Commission to ensure imported foods meet high UK production and welfare tandards.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) conducted the 2020 Farmer Favourability Survey showing 86 per
cent of people agree that British farms should grow as much food as possible to provide national food security.
Just as the British public are showing resilience in tackling COVID 19, farmers and the UK food supply
need to improve its resilience.
Farmers need to develop more resilient methods for growing crops.
We need to consider production methods that reduce our carbon emissions, farms can reach our targets for Net Zero Emissions over the next 20 years.
We need growing methods that will increase soil organic matter, either with soil improvers or cover crops, leading to improved soil structure to be able to cope better with moisture extremes.
We need to reduce cultivations to limit fuel usage and protect soils from weather extremes.
We need improved drainage systems and probably water to irrigate in times of drought.
Farmers need to do more with less.
These are uncertain times. A sensible trade deal is critical to all our futures, but we rely on our politicians to safely deliver for the country.
Resilient local businesses can survive and thrive in these volatile times.