The UK’s crop production toolbox is becoming worryingly depleted at a time when we need to be producing more crops, not less, says the NFU.
A new campaign ‘Healthy Harvest’ has been launched by the NFU at the Cereals Event last week in response to concerns that already flat lining UK crop production will be sent into decline if British farmers continue to lose access to key crop protection materials.
Statistics show that since 2001 half have been lost and over the lifetime of the newly elected EU Parliament another half could be banned through what is seen as overzealous regulation not properly backed up with sound science.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith, leading on the campaign, said: “The UK is fast becoming an over-regulated environment for British farmers who are losing their home markets to foreign farmers who have better access to more effective means of crop production.
“At a time when leading scientists are warning that within a generation the world could be facing a ‘perfect storm’ of food shortages, this is not the time to be taking away the tools our farmers need to produce disease free, high yielding crops.
“British farmers need to be able to use the same, safe technology as their competitors if we are to have a productive agriculture producing healthy harvests.”
l More time is being given by a rural organisation with members in Ryedale for people to take a prize winning photograph of young people at work and play in the countryside.
The CLA is extending the deadline for entries to its competition by a week to Friday June 27, so that the association can display a collection of images on its stand at the Great Yorkshire Show next month when visitors will be asked to vote on their favourite photo.
CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “We’re starting to get some really great photos in from around the region now that the weather is warming up and we’re keen to make sure everyone has ample opportunity to enter.
“Encouraging more young people to live and work in the countryside is one of the key challenges for the rural economy and this competition is an opportunity to celebrate all of the young people who are already out there enjoying and making a living in rural areas.”
Anyone who would like to take part can email a jpeg image (maximum of two images of no more than two meg size per entrant) to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a print to: CLA North, Aske Stables, Aske, Richmond, DL10 5HG.