19 December 1997

Drought will drive agronomy plans

WATER shortages are set to drive variety choice and crop husbandry plans ever more strongly over the coming years, says Simon Bowen, of Anglian Produce.

He believes farmers must reassess their agronomic priorities and predicts varietal choice will adapt in line with climate changes.

"There is serious concern over likely water shortages and, as part of Integrated Crop Management policy, wise producers will consider how they can manage healthy crops with limited water supplies," says Dr Bowen.

Varieties highly regarded for their drought resistance should become more important, he says. That quality seems likely to outweigh problems of late maturity.

"Failure to anticipate drought could be an expensive mistake." &#42