Farmers Can Be Part Of The Solution To Help Bees, Pollinators And The Environment After Brexit
Now that the UK will be leaving the EU, there is some
concern about what this will mean for farming and especially regulation and
However, from what I have seen, there are plenty of
farmers eager to do their bit for the environment.
I previously wrote about this article by Agromenes. You can download
the article here (can be a bit slow).
"The fertility of almost all our soil is in
serious decline. Decades of relatively
cheap nitrates, over-use of insecticides and widespread monoculture have left
most of England significantly less fertile.......Only as the evidence mounts
have leading farmers begun to be concerned......We're going to have to ask
farmers to spend money and time on better husbandry.."
There Are Farmers Who Want To Help The Environment....
2 further letters to The Times also support this idea. One of them comments:
"As farmers we recognise that any future farm
policy must be focused on delivering greater tangible environmental benefit to
the taxpayer while allowing the agricultural sector to be competitive".
I previously posted this picture of a pollinator margin in Norfolk, England.
The photograph does not do it justice, and the picture
was taken late in the season. There is
plenty of hedgerow and trees to one side of the field. I think it demonstrates that there are
farmers out there, who care about pollinators and the environment.
else can we do to support farmers?
- Agrochemicals are very expensive – and a
large part of that expenditure is insecticides.
Yet farmers do not have independent information regarding pest
infestation levels, such that research has shown they have tended to apply
insecticides unnecessarily. Read more.
- Personally, I’m in favour of farmers
continuing to receive financial support from the tax payer, provided that their
activities truly help to enhance the environment for wildlife, by reducing
chemicals, planting more trees and hedgerows, and quality pollinator margins
like the one above.
- Ensure the regulations for agrochemicals
are toughened. Ultimately, it is not
good for farmers to allow the soil fertility and beneficial organisms to be
harmed. Most invertebrates are actually beneficial
to farmers, and provide a vital role in the eco-system.
- To quote Professor Dave Goulson:
Brexit or not, it provides a golden opportunity, freeing British farming
from the Common Agricultural Policy, and making it possible to steer it
away from industrial, chemical farming towards more sustainable
methods. If we do not, we will lose bees and much else of our wildlife
for ever. " - Professor Dave Goulson, author of A Buzz In the Meadow and Bumblebee Behaviour and Ecology
Let's just hope we can take advantage of the opportunity before us, and work with farmers to create positive change.
What can manufacturer patents tell us about the risks their chemicals pose to non-target insects?
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