GROWERS: By NFU group branch secretary Phil Ingleby
Many of you will have read Michael Gove’s comments recently where he stated that “parts of Britain’s farmland are 30 to 40 years away from becoming barren wastelands”.
These were comments made at the launch of the Sustainable Soils Alliance and proves what an uphill battle British agriculture has in ensuring that our decision makers are supportive of our industry.
Even the head of the Soil Association was said to be “bowled over” by Gove’s comments.
What I found most disappointing was the language that was being used implying that farmers “drenched” their soils with chemicals.
Farmers above all understand that the soil is one of their greatest assets and is fundamental to them.
Any detriment to it will potentially have an irreversible impact. We must not forget that British farming produces food to some of the highest standards in the world and in doing so farmers also care passionately about the environment.
These are clearly troublesome comments as we enter the final phases of reapproval for Glyphosate.
Evidence overwhelmingly shows that glyphosate is safe.
Its use is also noted as having a positive effect on soils by allowing conservation tillage to be carried out instead of ploughing, which significantly increases the number of earthworms and also improves levels soil organic matter.
Let’s hope that all future decisions are made on science and evidence, and not politics.