Suffolk: Farming crisis - ‘the damage is done’

FARMERS in Suffolk are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality and yield of this year’s harvest amid the ongoing dry weather.

The county’s branch of the National Farmers Union said its members had endured some of the toughest conditions for decades.

March and April saw worryingly low levels of rainfall and forecasters say they do not know where the next significant downpour will come from.

One Suffolk farmer, who has been irrigating his crops a month early this year, said the industry faced a “very difficult summer”.

Tim Pratt, the farm manager at Wantisden Hall Farms, near Woodbridge, said: “From January 1 to now we have had just 68mm of rain. This same time period last year we had 182mm – so we have had just a third of that.

“Whatever happens now, the damage is done. We are doing what we can.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey last night expressed her concerns in the House of Commons during an adjournment debate with Farms Minister Jim Paice.

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She told the EADT: “It’s a difficult time. If people want to see good Suffolk food on their table then we have to help the farming industry respond to this crisis.”

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