Oh My Crops!

Floods can have devastating affects on all aspects of farming; livestock, land, buildings and homes.

Without much room for prevention on such a large size and scale farmers are often left at the mercy of floods, however, there are certain steps that can be taken to help.

One of these ways is to have a ‘Flood plan’. The UK government suggests that farmers are actually contributing to flooding by ‘careless farming’. Experts say that farmers have caused soil and water to flush into rivers by leaving land bare and cramming heavy machinery and livestock onto land which causes the ground to be compact, unable to soak up any water. The growing of maize is also a huge issue when it comes to flooding, as it creates the most rainfall run-off in comparison with other crops.

So what should a flood plan consist of?

Farmers weekly suggest a few things:

  • Identify ground where livestock can be moved to safety in the event of a flood
  • Identify stock and machinery that can be moved elsewhere to prevent the ground from becoming compact
  • Identify chemicals that may affect or contaminate floodwater and consider moving them
  • Consider purchasing a stockpile of useful materials that can be used to help against floods like sandbags to prevent water from entering barns, pallets to stack chemicals etc.

Farmers should also help to avoid water run off from their land by creating run off ponds and sediment traps to hold water. These should be directed away from roads and watercourses.

What impact have we seen so far? 2012 is one of the wettest years we’ve had in recent times and it was a year to forget for farmers. Over 42,000 hectares were affected and over £50m of damage was caused. The full extent of the damage still hasn’t been measured today.

If you need any further advice on flooding, or have some photos of flooding that you would like to share, please contact me at Kevin@floodsense.co.uk