September 04, 2017

05/09/2017: Leading the campaign for regular successful harvests

by Chris Jackson, Export Manager, UK TAG

Here in the UK we are now well in to another harvest, but one thing that remains certain, despite all of the uncertain politics that surround our country and the world, there has always been a seedtime and a harvest
Chris Jackson

With some years better than others for crop yields. Looking back at our uncertain world, very recently the harvest of vegetables in Northern Australia was destroyed by tornados, meaning a year’s production was lost.

We have seen such tragedies happen over the years and the in different continents demonstrating the need to have food reserves kept to fill such shortfalls. Todays’ world depends on being able to move food across the continents quickly and in a manner fit for consumption a costly exercise for the wealthy western world.

Certainly here in the UK the assumption is that our population will continue to be able to import its food needs. This leads to a continued challenge to produce more from the decreasing land space. Fortunately research and development are continuing to aid our farmers in their quest.

In addition, food is being produced in more innovative ways, for example, the continuing development of hydroponics for fruit and vegetables, more use of indoor production with plastic poly tunnels allowing longer growing times not to mention the development of the aquaculture industries for both fresh and sea water fish and crustaceans.

Production continues to rely on adequate supplies of water, another challenge as we see floods and droughts; fresh water needs to be contained when it is in over supply and re-distributed to areas of need.

This is a particular challenge in countries such as Australia where the Northern Territory and Queensland have an oversupply but politics stops that being made available via a canal or pie system to areas of more need.

For the production of protein from animal sources I was reminded at a conference last week, there is now serious competition between the species that are most able to quickly and efficiently convert vegetable into meat, such as poultry and fish vying for the most efficient convertors followed by pigs.

The luxury market being left for sheep, goats and cattle which by their very nature, demand a lot of land space but nevertheless make very significant contributions to farming incomes. This is especially so in the case of cattle where meat can be produced as a by-product of the dairy industry.

Read more HERE.

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