Farmer Focus: Rewilding is stretching things a bit too far

Are we all set to get going again? Another season to plant for, yet more anticipation and optimism. We can only hope that our efforts are rewarded by better results next year, certainly something more akin to “normal” would be appreciated. 

With so many unknowns in the world, it really is down to us to attempt to provide some certainty and security, reassure people that no matter what, we will provide the food and some of the fuel that the nation needs.

Oh, and while we are about it, we will continue to protect our natural assets for future generations. 

See also: Tips on making arable soils more resilient to extreme weather

In all of the debate that is raging around us at the moment, it is important for others to appreciate the key facts of what we do.

Don’t let anyone forget that they need food to survive – aspirations of mountains of highly nutritious sustenance flowing from some kind of high-rise, hydroponic utopia or from a laboratory bench are still some way off.

So in the meantime, they will have to rely on us with our good-old dirt. 

Tread lightly

We do, of course, owe it to future generations to make sure that we tread as lightly as possible, to leave them something that they can work with and an environment that assists with, rather than fights, that objective.

To that end, is the present rewilding debate the right option for our countryside, all a load of rubbish, or just stretching things that bit too far? To my mind, it’s the latter. 

Good, productive farming working alongside the environment has to be the solution.

That does, I’m afraid, mean that we will have to change our ways to readdress some of the sins of the past.

We have been encouraged to reach for the bag or a can to solve all of our challenges. 

Fighting back

Surely if nothing else, over the past six months we have had a clear demonstration that nature is, without doubt, very capable of fighting back.

We must take care that we work with, rather than against, this incredible power, rightly harnessing new techniques and science to assist in this quest.

With little blackgrass to worry about, wheat planting will be starting here from mid-month, with the hope that it and the barley will all be sown by the end of September, or soon after. Weather dependant, of course.

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