The UK's two important farming sectors, dairy and potato growing, will be badly hit by climate change over the next 30 to 50 years, the country's national weather service the Met Office has warned.
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Photo: Bloomberg

The UK’s two important farming sectors, dairy and potato growing, will be badly hit by climate change over the next 30 to 50 years, the country’s national weather service the Met Office has warned in a study.

The research found that heat stress in dairy cattle is projected to increase significantly in key dairy regions of the UK, particularly in south western England, Xinhua news agency quoted the study as saying on Saturday.

Heat stress conditions are met around two-to-three days per year, but in the period 2051-2070, this could extend to around one month per year on average, said the study.

Published in the Climate Risk Management journal, the study also covered the impacts on the potato sector due to late blight, a disease affecting potato crops which occurs in warm, humid weather.

The crop disease is likely to occur more often across Britain in 30 to 50 years’ time, according to the Met Office, with the greatest increases in western and northern regions.

“Projections show potential for major climate change impacts on UK farming. Our study found that future dairy cattle in parts of the south east (of England) may be exposed to heat stress for an extra two months per year. At the moment, cattle in the south east experience around a week per year of these stressful conditions,” said Freya Garry, author of the study.

The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 as part of its effort to deliver its legally binding commitment to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The international community, including both developing and developed countries, already recognised the importance of joining hands in tackling climate change.

In 2021, China and Britain will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), respectively.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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