General Election 2019: Priorities for the crops sector

  1. Introduce E10 bioethanol: E10 fuel refers to a mixture of 90% petrol with 10% bioethanol that has been made from wheat or sugar beet. Its introduction would be an easy step towards a net-zero economy and provide a market for arable farmers. As a by-product it would also create high protein animal feed to displace reliance on imports of soya and protect from turbulent global commodity markets.
  2. Adopt an evidence based approach to plant health and fertiliser regulation: government must support the competiveness of the arable sector through plant health and fertiliser regulation. Neonicotinoid pesticides are no longer available to UK arable farmers, but imports of crops grown using these products are free to come into the UK. This injustice needs to be dealt with through crop insurance schemes or direct payments to bridge the gap so that environmental impacts are not exported. Arable farmers need the government to support a holistic approach to producing healthy crops though genetics, agronomic research and a science led-approach to plant protection products.
  3. Develop ambitious environmental schemes: As the largest user of productive arable land, the UK arable sector has huge potential to support carbon capture and biodiversity. Practical schemes that support desired outcomes by offering farmers fair reward and co-exist with production are essential for this.
  4. Improve the position of the arable farmer in the supply chain: The cereals supply chain requires improved regulations to give farmers a fairer approach to contract terms. The government should provide independent data and support for collaboration projects for example through producer organisations.

:: Download the key election asks for Crops here.

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