Farmers are planting more grass in the UK, but farmers are not always planting grass in abundance, the country’s Department of Agriculture (DFA) has warned.
According to the DFA, more than one in five British farmers planted at least one new grass seedling in the first half of this year, but that number has dropped significantly over the last two years.DFA’s data, which covers grass production from October 2014 to September 2015, shows that new grass planted has fallen by more than 40% in the last three years.
The DFA has urged farmers to plant more grass and say that more will be planted in the next three to five years.
In 2015, farmers planted 5,719 new grass seeds and harvested 5.9 million kilograms of grass during the six months to October.
The amount of grass that was planted during the same period last year was 4,814,908 kilograms.
However, a report released last month by the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Campaign for Real Farming (CRF) said the number of new grass plants had fallen by about 35% since the beginning of this season, with the remaining amount being planted in small plots.
The CRF said that farmers should be planting grass to increase yields, improve soil quality and help the soil retain moisture, as the country suffers from drought and floods.
In the first two years of this century, grass production in England grew by 7.6% per annum and by a further 9.2% per year in the third year, the CRF reported.
According the CRFs analysis, the number planted with grass fell from 3,564,813 in 2013-14 to 2,834,074 in 2014-15.
The number of grass seeds that farmers planted in 2014 and 2015 was 1,974,567 and 1,986,903, respectively.
The report found that farmers were planting fewer new grass in 2014 than in the previous three years, with just one in 10 of the 7,037,853 new grass plots in the country being planted.
The new grass crop was planted in a range of sizes from 6 to 10 acres and the CRFU said that the average size of new seedlings was 1.2m x 2.5m (4.7 x 6.2ft).
According to CRFs assessment, the land is becoming increasingly polluted, with soil erosion being a major problem, with a third of cropland being affected.
“This situation is unsustainable and needs to be addressed,” the CRPF said.
The government is now looking to encourage the development of alternative farming methods, with DFA’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Mark Jones, saying that the government is working on new fertiliser options.
The latest figures also show that England’s population is set to reach nearly 2.3 billion by 2050, but Jones said that this would be offset by an increase in the number and size of households, particularly young people.
“The number and number of people who are living in the home is set in stone,” Jones said.
“We will not see an increase if we don’t increase the number in the households that we have.”
Jones said that a number of other factors were likely to impact on the number, size and shape of England’s homes.
He said that while it was not a perfect situation, the situation could be improved.
“It’s going to take us a long time to address the issue and get to that point where people are actually living together, that’s the challenge,” Jones added.
Jones said the government was committed to tackling the issues identified in the CRFP report and was “committed to doing the right thing for the country”.
Jones also said that he hoped the UK would see a “major economic recovery” this year and that the country would become a “green superpower”.