'We've seen a dramatic change!' Fears over impact of climate change on Lincolnshire's farmers

January 23, 2020

Farmers in Lincolnshire fear climate change could have a big impact on their livelihoods - and say customers at the supermarket will soon begin to feel the effects in the coming years.

Torrential rain in the last year has caused widespread flooding, with a number of farms being left underwater after rivers in the county burst their banks.

 

Scientists say extreme weather events like this, along with prolonged droughts, are set to become more common in the future as climate change progresses.

 

Farmers in the county, who are reliant on the weather to ensure their crops grow well, say they have concerns not just about the shift in weather patterns but also about how this is managed in the future.

 

Tilly Ireland, who grew up on her family's farm in North Rauceby, says they are incredibly dependent on the weather.

 

"We farm 1,500 hectares of various crops," she said. "Growing a crop does require the right conditions - temperature, sun and rainfall all play a part."

 

The 22-year-old says the types of extreme weather that could become more common in the future could make life difficult.

 

"With the flooding we've seen, a dramatic change in what sort of seeds we can soil," she said. "Hot weather in the future could mean a pivot to irrigation.

 

"We might have to turn to nitrogen fixing crops. These are plants like pulses and field beans that can fix their own nitrogen so they need less fertiliser and I think there will  be a big technological shift."

 

Andrew Ward, who runs a farm in Leadenham, says there has been a noticeable change in the weather over the last 20 years.

 

Mr Ward says the events, which he prefers to call "changing weather patterns" rather than climate change, have seen extreme weather become more common.

 

"I've been keeping rainfall records for 24 years," he said. "We are seeing massive variations - our driest year was 2011 where we had 430mm of rain all year and our wettest was in 2012 when we had 1080mm of rain.

 

"We are expecting more prolonged wetter periods and more prolonged drier periods. We aren't getting the average anymore - those days seem to have gone."

 

Source: Lincolnshire Live

 

 

 

 

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