DCSIMG

Farming Matters: Fears heavy rain could rot crops and ruin machinery

Flooded yard at Gollins Agricultural Contractors in Ford. Picture shows tractor driver Steve Miles

Flooded yard at Gollins Agricultural Contractors in Ford. Picture shows tractor driver Steve Miles

 

Farmers in the Vale have thankfully not been flooded to the extent of those in Somerset, but drive along any road here and you can see sodden fields.

At this time of year most livestock is indoors, but for arable farmers, there is concern that continual rain could eventually rot crops already in the ground if it goes on for long enough.

Agricultural contractor Pete Gollins who works for 200 farmers in a 25 mile radius from his yard in Ford, said: “Crops that are continually covered in water for three weeks will start to rot because they can’t breathe.”

Mr Gollins’ own yard is currently flooded, with £1 million worth of machinery including 13 tractors, combines, balers, cultivators, drills and trailers standing in water.

He said: “It doesn’t do the machinery any good to be under water.

“I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve never seen it so bad.

“There is a brook running through the yard and I offered to clean it 10 years ago and I was told I couldn’t because it was against the policy of the environment.

“They want to see voles in the brooks so don’t want to destroy their habitat and the rushes.

“So the waterways don’t get cleaned out and it slows the water down.

“But there is a price to pay for that and the farmers and now the general public, whose homes are being flooded, are paying the price.”

In a bid to help suffering householders Mr Gollins and his colleague Steve Miles used one of their slurry tankers to pump water out of a house in Towersey last week which had been seriously flooded on the ground floor.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page