With less than 20% of normal rainfall falling over large parts of England during March and April arable farmers, particularly in the southern and eastern regions of England, are facing serious problems.
"Yield losses and increased disease pressure are going to be inevitable,” warns Dr Alison Bailey, Department of Agriculture, University of Reading. These are some of the issues, which Dr Bailey will be addressing during the Water and Irrigation module which takes place on day two of this year’s CropWorld Global Congress to be held at the ExCel Centre, London from 31 October to 2 November. The event is organised by UBM and supported by BCPC.
In her session ‘Examining water implications of climate change on UK agriculture’ Dr Bailey, will assess the recent weather trends and try to explain the effects it is having on agriculture. She will also be considering whether extreme weather can be related to climate change.
“Whilst arable farmers are facing problems in the south and east of the country, those further north and west – where there has been some rainfall and whose crops are suffering less – could benefit from the current high price of cereals on the global market,” says Dr Bailey. “The drier weather could also benefit maize crops.”
But can climate change be the cause of the current spell of hot dry weather? “Climatic projections do suggest milder wetter winters and drier hotter summers in the UK so the recent spring conditions are consistent with the kinds of weather that climate change is likely to bring. However we cannot attribute one event solely to climate change,” advises Dr Bailey.
The Water and Irrigation module will also focus on: the latest irrigation techniques (especially in respect of horticulture), how agricultural water supplies can be adapted to climate change, and a case study from Australia. John Lawton from Green Mountain will also be reviewing the use of unexploited arid areas for intensive food production during the session.
With participants from over 50 countries CropWorld Global is a true global event attracting interest from both the technical and commercial side of the worldwide crop production and crop protection industry. To see the very latest conference agenda and speaker line-up log onto www.cropworld-global.com. You can even follow CropWorld Global on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/CropWorld).
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