Farmers are being urged to monitor irrigation prospect news from the Environment Agency as concerns grow about an impending agricultural drought.
NFU National Water Resources Specialist Paul Hammett told an industry event in Peterborough that the situation was not looking promising.
The Environment Agency’s latest assessment puts the summer prospects for water resources for spray irrigation in East Anglia as moderate to moderate or poor.
Mr Hammett said: “A return to wet weather conditions could still turn the situation around, but summer drought measures are increasingly likely if dry weather persists, and time is running out to fill farm reservoirs.
“We could be in a situation, as last year, where car owners can wash their cars, gardeners can water their lawns but farmers won’t have the water they need to grow our food.”
Mr Hammett said the flexibility shown by the Environment Agency last year was an encouraging sign that it was willing and able to offer support to farmers and growers, where possible to do so.
He urged growers to ensure they complied with any conditions on their abstraction licence, warning that breaches could potentially lead to ‘eye-watering’ cross-compliance penalties.
Mr Hammett was speaking at a UKIA seminar at Irrigex, an event for the irrigation industry.