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LEAF Speak Out: Difficult Questions - Environment

Do you approve of wind farms?

Renewable energy is nothing new on farms. For hundreds of years farmers have produced energy – oats to feed horses as well as wood to heat houses. Wind power has also been used for years, to power pumps for example. Renewables are part of the Government’s goals to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

Why are you paid to plant hedges and trees?

Farmers’ single farm payment (support) is linked to them undertaking their choice of many different activities e.g. planting trees, opening up footpaths, planting wildflower meadows for birds and bees all which support our natural environment now and for the future.

Farmers are responsible for a big decline in bird numbers, particularly species on the red and amber list, how would you respond to this criticism?

Many species of birds have increased, whilst some have decreased. There are many reasons for the change in bird populations, such as a wet spring can reduce successful hatchings of young birds, cold winters can severely impact the survival rates of small birds like wrens and goldcrests. Farmers are actively engaged with creating habitat for birds, feeding birds over winter and creating spaces for birds, such as skylarks, to nest.

Farmers pollute rivers and streams with muck/pesticides, what are you doing to make sure this doesn’t happen from your farm?

We implement lots of good practices on the farm to minimize our impact on the environment and water courses. These include not applying autumn weed control products to the crop when there is any risk of the product getting into rivers, such as when fields are wet. We only spread muck when fields are dry, we wash out our sprayers in special areas where the was water is collected in tanks and disposed of safely.

Supported by the Crop Protection Association

Difficult question topics:

General Q&A

Arable

Beef

Dairy

Environment

Pigs

Poultry

Sheep

Sporting/hunting

Responding to questions on the impact of farming on birds, bees and wildlife.

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