The U.K.’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) harvest survey predicts the average wheat yield for the U.K. harvest in 2014 to be a record high, after a summer of near-perfect growing conditions for the crop.
It is predicted that the 2014 U.K. wheat harvest will weigh in at more than 8.6 tonnes per hectare, the largest ever and 16 percent more than 2013 – the biggest uplift in 30 years. But as regulation from the EU Commission removes and restricts vital active ingredients in crop protection products, the NFU continues to lobby for a different way of regulating to allow for more harvests like this year.
The perfect summer for growing conditions contrasted the wettest winter and third warmest spring on record this year, creating favorable conditions for disease in crops. But disease was kept at bay with careful management and the appropriate use of available crop protection products, and ensured not only healthy thriving plants but a high-quality yield.
NFU combinable crops board chairman Mike Hambly said: “This year’s wheat harvest shows how dependent crop yield is on the weather and, as extreme weather events become more frequent, how we as farmers can cope with this.”
“Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the weather, but fungicides and insecticides are essential tools allowing us to protect our crops in adverse weather. Many of these are under threat from EU Commission regulation and as this legislation hits, in turn, will compromise both the quality and potential yield of wheat.
“If farmers are going to rise to the challenge of producing food amidst climate change and the weather volatility that comes with it, then we need to be allowed to use the most effective active ingredients for the job. Research needs government interest and investment so we can grow crops resilient to all weather conditions.”
“Farmers have an important job to do, we need the right regulation in place and access to appropriate chemistry to ensure we can all enjoy and benefit from an abundant and healthy harvest, such as we have had this year. Optimizing our productivity allows us to impact less on the environment and meet our responsibilities to the growing global demand for food.”