Crops: Drying a slow death
Yesterday, on a train from London to the Midlands, I stared out of the window on to a sorry scene of stunted crops and dusty land. This is England in May, where spring ought to look at its freshest. Instead, as any gardener knows, plants that have not been irrigated have given up on life. Cereal crops have decided that they had better reproduce quickly, as best they can under the circumstances, in case they die. They’ve produced small seeds that are too close together and won’t be sheltered from the sun by the usual leaf.
In Hertfordshire, farmer Robert Law expects the yield from wheat sown over winter to be down by 40 per cent. Cereals sown this spring have been practically wiped out. “In an average year, we would have 130ml of rainfall,” he sighs. “This year, we’ve had 7ml.” There isn’t the water to irrigate cereal crops, and it wouldn’t be cost-efficient for him if there were, given the prices the crops fetch.
Usually, only high-value crops such as sugar beet and vegetables receive irrigation; this year, the sprayer booms have been turned on. Even so, as Tim Pratt, farm manager of Wantisden Hall Farms in Suffolk, explains, there is a cost: he has had to employ more labour to do it. Fortunately, reserves of water in and under the ground were topped up in winter. Even so, Richard Scott, chairman of the Suffolk National Farmers Union, speaks of farmers enduring some of the toughest conditions for decades.
“It’s the subject that preoccupies my every waking moment,” laments Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association. Organic farmers tend to plant more of the spring-sown crops which, not having established their root systems, have been decimated. “The dust is unbelievable. It’s a complete nightmare.”
The drought has come just as the nation has been putting the memories of the big Christmas freeze behind it, although – to add insult to injury – my hosts in Derbyshire experienced frost earlier this week. The normal routine of the countryside has gone out of the window, as it seems to have developed the habit of doing in recent years.
Several years ago, bees have started to die off in record numbers. Bees and other beneficial insects are desperately needed so desperately for the world’s food crop supply. Due to crop failures, food will become more valuable than oil. When the crops fail this year from lack of pollination, due to a decline in bees and other beneficial insects, you’re going to hear people proclaiming the end of the world has come.
Albert Einstein once said, “If the Bees died off this planet, Mankind would be extinct in 4 years.”
He knew the importance of keeping nature in balance. The weather is a SIGN of the natural order being out of balance. It is a domino effect. Bees spawn – but high winds, pesticides, and other miscalculations by Man has altered everything for the worst. We are living on a dying planet. You’ll see that truth unfolding this year in the news media as they start to pay attention to what’s really going on.