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From the editor: Flooding torment shows need for common-sense approach

Sometimes, the sheer power of nature is such that it can defy logic and do untold damage to anything in its path.

That is exactly what has happened in recent weeks as heavy rain landed on already saturated land and wrought devastation across many areas, particularly South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

 

But these extreme weather events are becoming depressingly recurrent. It is only a matter of months since Farmers Guardian reported on the damage done in the Yorkshire Dales as a month’s rain fell in just 24 hours and saw rivers and streams turned into raging torrents of rock and stone.

 

Go back a little further and it was drought concerns in the east of the country that were occupying the minds of many farmers as they feared for crop establishment in the heat. Now, with planting impossible for many and others behind schedule, the implications for all farming sectors over the next 12 months could be significant.

 

One of the challenges as we face up to changing weather patterns is to fuel the debate and the subsequent response with objective, sensible discourse.


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Farmers and landowners must be engaged by all UK governments in this discussion and made central to any future plans. As our lead letter on the opposite page shows, many feel this has not been happening for a while.

 

Common sense must also be the order of the day. Coming as it has in the midst of a bitter General Election campaign, opposition parties have sought to dismiss the Conservative Government’s response to the flooding for the purpose of potential gain. Now, however, is not the time for political point scoring.

 

If these weather events are to be more common, and if climate change is becoming increasingly real, the implications for farmers’ livelihoods, and therefore food production, could be felt by all members of society and will require a unified and coherent strategy which engages, not divides, all the relevant parties.

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