April showers will do little to alleviate dro

alt tag goes here

News article

April showers do little to alleviate drought

April 2012

rural consultancy news

Sam Skinner looks at the effect the dry conditions may have this Summer

April’s recent showers will do little to alleviate the drought conditions that are affecting farmers throughout the country - even with flood alerts now in 42 areas of England and warnings of further heavy rain to come.
 
For many farmers these conditions are very worrying but not necessarily unfamiliar. The summer of 1976 was regarded as the summer of all summers with temperatures in excess of 26.7°C every day between 22 June and 16 July, with very little rain. Prior to this, the summer and autumn of 1975 were very dry and the winter into spring of 1975–76 was exceptionally dry too.  A very similar story to the situation today. 
 
So what does 2012 have in store? With the summer months approaching, the fluctuating buoyant prices in the grain market serve as evidence that there may be surplus space in grain stores this summer as yields get hit hard by the shortfall in rain.  Despite farmers on heavier land enjoying the lengthy spell of dry weather, allowing them to get up to date with top dressing and spraying, there is great concern on the faces of those farming the lighter sand land. 
 
Despite it being the wettest week across England and Wales since the start of January, much of eastern England and the South East is in drought as domestic boreholes have dried up, and water companies are increasingly applying for drought permits after the two dry winters have emptied reservoirs and dried soils so much that even rainfall a fifth higher than usual would only be enough to return them to normal levels.
 
Although the severity of the drought may only be practically experienced by those involved in agriculture, it is expected that these effects could raise prices of potatoes and other vegetables which are traditionally dependent on irrigation. The National Farmers Union has warned of the impact on both arable and livestock farming and is asking wherever possible for agricultural water use not to be restricted.
 
The Environment Agency continues to meet with the NFU to discuss and plan for summer 2012. Extensions to a number of agricultural winter abstraction licences have been granted into April to allow licence holders to abstract at times of higher flow. 
 
For those willing to risk ignoring abstraction restrictions, it should be noted that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) are responsible for implementing GAEC 18 (Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition) which is a new standard that brings water used for irrigation under cross compliance. The Environment Agency is the competent controller authority for GAEC 18 and where the licence holder does not comply with the abstraction licence, the Environment Agency can take enforcement action resulting in reduced subsidy payments by the RPA.
 
Alarmingly, every day the water industry in England and Wales loses 3.36 billion litres of water in leaks.  If all the pipes could be repaired enough water would be saved to supply 22.4 million people every day, roughly half the population of the whole of England. Heavy rains could yet stave off the worst of the impacts, but forecasters are predicting drier than average conditions for the next few months. Will the summer of 1976 now have a contender as being the hottest summer on record?
 
For further information please contact Fisher German on 01777 709943 or 01636 642500 or email farms@fishergerman.co.uk.
alt tag goes here
alt tag goes here
forthcoming events

forthcoming events

alt tag goes here
Lorem ipsum
latest news

latest news

Copyright © 2015 Fisher German    All rights reserved   |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map   |    Accessibility                                                            Created by Supadü
alt tag goes here
Site Search
Awards logo - winner
facebook-social-icon
facebook-social-icon