Monday, May 27, 2024
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More trees aren’t the answer – crop rotation is


I WAS very grateful for the mainly positive response to my article on climate change, but two people mentioned declining bird populations in Norfolk, and that has niggled me. So, research and reflect.

The study of bird populations is very complicated. For a start the little blighters will rise and fly to the next field, the next county or half a world away. However, there is a growing body of solid evidence that modern farming practice (ie intensive farming) has adversely affected farmland birds. That forgotten area of North Norfolk was not intensively farmed, indeed, whisper it quietly, it was raising game birds!

It is said that farming today does not so much produce food as the raw materials for processed food. Hence vast acres of wheat, rapeseed and sugar beet. The use of inorganic fertiliser and pesticides degrades the soil so that it can be blown away by the wind and washed into rivers by the rain. So modern farming practice, encouraged by Government subsidy and agribusiness to produce more and more crop per acre, is bad for the environment and bad for us.

There is a solution which is not given enough publicity – return to traditional farming methods of crop rotation including the introduction of more pastureland: the grass and animal waste enriches the soil and you don’t need the quantities of fertiliser and pesticide. The soil becomes healthier, the environment healthier and we become healthier by eating grass-fed meat. It should even please the alarmists of global warming, sorry climate change, sorry climate emergency, because it locks carbon in the form of organic matter into the soil.

So why do the environmentalists always go on about planting more trees? Labour wants to plant billions of them! Because, dear reader, to the woke and the eco-warrior we are the problem. The planet belongs to them, not the billions of plebs who need feeding and watering.

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Martin Ward
Martin Ward
Martin Ward has been an analytical chemist in the water industry and a regulator of waste management facilities.

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