Looking ahead to 2022 – Matt Culley, Crops

First published: 20 December 2021

Matt Culley standing in front of a field of crops

As 2021 draws to a close, your board Chairs look ahead to a new year. Matt Culley, Chair of the Crops board, considers what lies in store for 2022.

The past year has been turbulent for the crops sector, especially with the numerous policy challenges we face and continue to fight against.

At the heart of this has to be our priority of seeking to ensure we have a profitable, productive arable sector growing high-quality food and feed, and for farm support to recognise and support this.

We still don’t know enough about ELMs and SFI, and are pressing for more detail, certainty and adequate reward for the actions farmers will be asked to undertake.

Working with others

On Farming Rules for Water, we are making the case for the Environment Agency (EA) and Defra to move away from the damaging and blanket approach adopted this autumn.

We are ready to work with others on better, safer use of manures, but the EA and Defra also need to recognise the benefits of responsibly applied organic manures in the autumn to the health of our soils and crops.

Defending access

At the time of writing, with fertiliser prices so high, and supply uncertain, we are defending access to solid urea, and doing all we can to move Defra away from their preferred option of banning it.

There has been some good news on the roll-out of E10 and RED II compliance, and we need UK growers to benefit from this expanded market.

We will also soon be launching a ‘claims hub’ on NFUonline, where members can log unfair claims and rejections against loads of grain to help us make the case for greater fairness in the supply chain, so keep an eye out for this.

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