The weather is always a major topic of conversation and at North
Sheep 2007 being held on Wednesday 6th June at North Hanging Wells
Farm, near Wolsingham County Durham, it will most definitely be
the major topic of conversation.
Hugh Fell Hugh Fell Managing Partner of George F White will be presenting
a seminar on climate change, informing farmers that as a result
of the warmer, wetter Winters and hotter drier Summers they will
have to change farming practices. He will be answering questions
such as Will we be baling in bikinis? Will we be shearing
in Spring? Will we see Lucerne being grown across the North East
and the Borders. To show how this will impact, Hugh and his
team will present North Hanging Wells as a case study example.
Climate Change is an extremely important issue for farmers and
it is an issue that is not going to go away. The aim of this
presentation is to show farmers some of the likely effects of climate
change and what they can realistically do now to be best prepared.
"As a profession it is important that farmers are able
to predict what the weather is going to be like." Explained
Hugh Fell. "Climate change is not something that
will effect just future generations, it is happening now and
we can start to respond and lay down foundations for the future. We
try to keep abreast of developments as they happen to ensure
that farmers are ahead of the weather."
Predictions and estimates based on sound scientific principles
on how Climate change will affect North East and Borders Farmers,
shows that there will be an increasingly different climate between
the east and west. Whilst overall rainfall is on the decrease,
Winters will be much wetter and warmer, with Summers being much
drier and hotter – even more so in the East.
What does this mean for farmers? "Well, in twenty
years time, there will be the potential for improved productivity
and the introduction of some new crops previously unable to be
grown in the North East. There will be a distinct northward
shift in agricultural practices. For example, Lucerne,
used for feeding stocks is often seen in and around Norfolk but
is almost unheard of in the North East. Shearing will be
much earlier and there is the increased potential for spring
lambings to be outside."
These changes will also lead to increases in pests and diseases,
flooding and winter poaching of the land. Storm frequency
is predicted to increase, and soil moisture to become increasingly
Hugh Fell says "This is not a blanket coverage change. Each
farm and in some instances each field, will be different due
to a complex matrix of factors. What proves to be detrimental
to one may be an opportunity for another. Farms will have
to be highly adaptive to meet the anticipated challenges brought
on by the weather."
The changes outlined above are general trends, suggested by the
trends in climate. The predicted scale of Climate change
for the North East will not bring about an overnight collapse of
agriculture in the region but will however have the potential to
significantly affect the region’s farm businesses.
F. White is one of the leading independent
firms of chartered surveyors and property professionals in the
North East of England. They
have offices in Alnwick and Tyne Valley in Northumberland, Wolsingham
in County Durham, Bedale in North Yorkshire and Mayfair in London.
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