'Supermarkets do not understand'
This has been one of the most frustrating late Summer and Autumn seasons that many local farmers can recall. We are up to the tops of our wellies in water with seemingly no respite in sight. Since June, when we suffered an unseasonal amount of rain, Welland & Deepings IDB has recorded our total annual rainfall- that is 12 months rain in six months. Root crops have been harvested- or not harvested- in far from ideal conditions and no following crops have been planted because the soil is saturated
Many maize crops, an energy crop, were harvested in conditions which normally would rule out land travel but such was the urgency that we all simply had to look the other way and get on with it. The evidence is still there today since those fields are still uncultivated and will remain that way until Spring.
In respect of vegetables, similarly difficult conditions are being encountered. Many farmers have abandoned potato picking until the Spring and Brussel Sprout and brassica crops are still being harvested in dreadful conditions but must be because our customers, the supermarkets, do not understand. They simply want to fill their shelves. There might well be a vegetable shortage this Christmas and potatoes simply will not keep as they went into store wet.
So why aren’t we flooded in the way, say Fishlake, was? That’s because of the fantastic work that our locally managed Internal Drainage Boards do on our behalf. They have always been proactive in terms of maintenance with the result that many of us living near sea level can sleep safely in our beds without worrying about water invading our homes. We all owe them a vote of thanks as well as a request to the Environment Agency to learn from their smaller brothers!
More by this authorJeremy Ransome