Future proofing UK farming

  • Farmers are counting the cost of the most recent spell of wet weather that brought flooding to many agricultural areas in November 2012.
  • Many farmers have either lost or had to give up on drilling winter crops this season and may have to o1pt for spring varieties instead. Many livestock farmers have had to bring grazing animals in earlier, leading to concerns over availability and quality of silage, given the poor harvest this year and difficulty in harvesting due to the wet weather. This in turn will increase the requirement for and cost of concentrate feed.
  • A new survey suggests that farmer confidence has dropped, particularly in the livestock sector.

Implications and next steps: Securing farmer confidence may help to ensuring the industry survival and contribute to economic recovery. Future-proof farming methods (such as investigation of flood or waterlog-resistant varieties) could be used to prepare for increases in extreme weather events such as flooding.

Farmers Weekly: http://tinyurl.com/bpd23zr, http://tinyurl.com/d6bngka, Farminguk.com: http://tinyurl.com/cg44xuy, Plant Physiology: http://tinyurl.com/ck- udx6z

About Julia Chatterton

Systems modeller with a particular expertise in food, farming and agricultural systems. Working with life cycle assessment methods for over 4 years to assess and analyse the environmental burdens associated with food and other production systems.
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