The national farmers union’s (NFU) annual harvest survey is now open, which aims to build an early picture of what this year’s harvest looks like across the country.
Following a season of extremes, the union is urging arable farmers to complete the survey in order to assess the effects of the difficult growing conditions on crop yield and quality.
The organisation’s combinable crops chairman, Matt Culley, explained why taking part is more important than ever. “I would urge every arable farmer to complete the NFU’s annual harvest survey. It not only gives us early figures to illustrate the resilience of the sector to policy makers, but also offers a check point for official estimates,” he says.
He points out how a new section on growers’ cropping plans for 2021 has been added due to the continued decline of the UK’s oilseed rape area. This hopes to demonstrate to government the precarious position rapeseed is in.
As the UK moves outside of the European Union, Mr Culley states the importance of formulating new policy which incorporates diversity within combinable crops while accounting for the country’s unique sector, climate and regional soil types.
“The arable sector forms the bedrock of the UK food and drinks sector and these crops must not be undermined by lower-quality imports, which are often coupled with lower production costs,” he says.
To take part, growers can complete the survey online or fill out a paper form found in the September issue of British Farmer and Grower magazine.
The survey will close on Sunday 27 September and all responses will be treated in strictest confidence.
Growers should not fill in the survey unless harvest is complete. Where harvest is not complete by the deadline, the average yield on the area harvested to date should be given.