Monday, October 18, 2010

UK crops to face water supply crunch, may relocate

Nigel Hunt in Reuters: Agricultural crops in Britain may need to be moved to new areas as the threat of both drought and flooding rises in the coming decades, a report commissioned by the Royal Agricultural Society of England said on Monday. The report said climate change was expected to produce higher temperatures, drier summers and wetter winters across much of England.

"This is likely to mean reduced river flow and less water available for agriculture," said one of the report's authors, Alison Bailey, of the University of Reading's School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. The report also said there was a clear risk from more frequent extremes of drought and flooding.

"Plant breeders will need to incorporate drought resistance and waterlogging tolerance into new varieties...planners must be flexible in allowing farms to build reservoirs so that they can conserve winter rainfall for summer irrigation," Ian Smith, Agri-Science Director of RASE said in a statement. \

…The report's recommendations included better use of excess winter rainfall through capture and storage and investment in hedges, ditches and ponds to reduce flood risk….

Crewgarth Farm in the UK, shot by Charles Rispin, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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