What next for Britain’s farmers?
The outlook has rarely been tougher for Britain’s farming industry, as it faces a number of significant challenges from all sides, including climate change, political changes, new biological challenges and an ever-increasing level of regulation as customers demand safer, cleaner foods. Now, more than ever, you need the experience and expertise of Kilco and Kersia behind you.
Much has been written about the influence of recent extreme weather events on crops and harvests, but the impact may be much more far reaching than the headline reductions in crop yields. In the short term, each unusual year of weather has a knock-on effect for the following year, creating a domino effect on many businesses. For example, next year’s oilseed rape crop was planted at the end of this year’s long hot summer, leaving the seeds struggling for the moisture they need to germinate, creating a weaker crop that is more prone to pest problems.
Longer term, researchers at the University of Manchester have found that the extreme hot weather is affecting the soil at a microbial level, changing the bacteria that allow soil to function as it should. Such changes are a major concern, explains Professor Nick Ostle from Lancaster University: “Continued summer droughts will change soil biology. This matters as we plan for ensuring food security that depends on healthy soil."
Britain’s farmers are also facing uncertainty in the face of Brexit. Leaving the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy, will significantly change the way farming is financed in this country, with farm payments set to be phased out over the next five years. The NFU is calling on the government to act fast to support farmers and help them build ‘financial resilience’ in their businesses through a new domestic agricultural policy that takes into account the uncertainties of climate change.
Supporting farmers is not just a matter of protecting individual livelihoods, it is about securing food for the nation and the world. The Worldwatch Institute in Washington DC says that global wheat, maize and rice production has failed to meet demand in three of the last four years and that the amount of grain produced per person is now less than at any time in the last three decades.
Such global problems demand a global perspective, and few companies are better placed to provide this than Kilco and its parent company, Kersia. With operations worldwide, Kersia is leveraging big data from partners and customers to help improve performance and productivity in all areas of food production, from farm to fork. Kersia is supporting the farming industry by creating a food safe world that meets the needs of both producers and consumers.
At the end of a tough year, with more uncertainty to come, it is good to know that Kersia and Kilco are in your corner, working hard on your behalf to help you meet, and beat, the challenges that lie ahead. Through innovation, dedication and cooperation, we can secure the future for Britain’s farmers and secure supplies for our shop shelves.
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