Climate Change and Agriculture

Climate change and agriculture.

As I discussed in an earlier post (7.2.08) ‘The answer is blowing in the wind’, farming is considered to be a factor in global warming. But climate change in turn is impacting on agriculture.

I talked about this topic last July in the Comment is Free website – Reaping what we’ve sown. Here is an extract from the article.

“It would be comforting to think that, in the brave new world of microprocessors and nano-technology, food production would be less vulnerable to such natural disasters. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case. If the recent floods and rainstorms prove anything, it’s that at the start of the 21st century our food supplies remain worryingly insecure and precarious.

As far as the countryside is concerned the main accomplishment of the European Union – and its poisonous offspring, the common agricultural policy (CAP) – has been to increase massively the grain-growing area at the expense of grassland. Since we joined the EU in the early 1970s, Britain’s wheat-growing area has doubled. Instead of grazing livestock on pasture, many cattle farmers concentrated their animals in sheds and fed them on the cheap, subsidised grain.

Compared with traditional pastoral farming systems, wheat-growing is highly unstable. It relies on energy-rich inputs of chemical fertilisers and sprays, many of them imported. It demands a decent spell of weather at harvest time if the crop is to be got in. And, even under favourable conditions, it depends on squadrons of diesel-burning monster machines to do the job.”

Click here to read the full article Reaping what we’ve sown