Over-planting trees on our farm land and importing food from Brazil as it destroys the Amazon is UTTER MADNESS, blasts Neil Parish

Sheep on a farm

Farmers across the UK are being encouraged to plant trees on farming land as Britain imports its food

GB News
Neil Parish

By Neil Parish

Published: 03/04/2024

- 09:55

Updated: 03/04/2024

- 10:39

Neil Parish is a British farmer and former politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Tiverton and Honiton

We live in a very uncertain and dangerous world producing food, and food security needs to be a priority for the government.

Ukraine produces forty percent of the world’s sunflower oil and has some of the best wheat growing land in the world, Russian aggression is not only costing many lives but also reducing Ukraine’s farming production.

Global warming is making many countries across the world dry and more difficult to grow food.

Every time we import food we import the water that produced that food and many countries can’t afford to export their water with in the food that they produce.

In this country we are having one of the longest wettest winters on record, and Autumn sown crops of wheat and oilseed rape which is a good substitute for sunflower oil are struggling to grow because so many fields are water logged, with parts of the country still under water.

East of Taunton in Somerset is still under water, and as grass and crops start to grow in the spring this is when the vegetation will rot. Instead of withholding carbon, rotting plants will release it into the atmosphere.

Winter vegetables have been very difficult to harvest because of the water logged fields and after five months of heavy rain fall the soils are saturated and spring crops and vegetables will be difficult to sow. My father had a farming production saying; he said 'the wet will pay back the dry and dry will pay back the wet, so look out for drought'.

We produce less than 60 per cent of the food we consume in this country and bananas and rice are beyond farming here but wheat barely, oilseeds, protein beans, peas, vegetables, milk, beef, lambs, pigs and chickens are food stocks where we have excellent quality production.

So over the last few years agriculture support for farming has moved from production to greening all very laudable you may think but it in danger of being overdone, because when the Russians invaded Ukraine it drove up food prices but with energy prices rocketed as well. The cost of production rose dramatically and although farmers were getting a good price for what they produced their costs were high too.

So what has happened now is the price farmers are getting for their products is falling back to pre-war prices but the cost of production still remains high coupled with support payments being halved farmers are thinking twice before planting crops.

The cost of labour especially on vegetable production is high. Then you have an extremely wet winter - the wettest on record in fact that more farmers are now deciding not to risk growing crops but instead taking the government subsidies to go green.

The government now has decided to limit Greening Policies - allowing only 25 percent of a farm to be 'green'. This will not replace the income that has been taken from farmers which help them to grow food.

Much of our milk and meat production in this country is grass fed and permanent pasture holds carbon in the soil almost as much as 20 years old trees. We must not take good land out of production and then import food from Malaysia and Brazil which is produced on depleted and destroyed rainforests

Last year alone Brazil destroyed Amazon rainforest the size of Devon. A tree in the rainforest by its size and climate holds three times as much carbon as a mature tree here.

So let’s not over plant trees here on productive land only to import food that’s formerly held much more carbon than we can. After Brexit we should be growing more food and the Government needs to get of the backs of farmers and let them produce food.

You may like