Greens trashing the environment part 625
Jul 17, 2015
Bishop Hill in Deben, Greens

According to the Committee on Climate Change's recent report, soils in the south-west of England are facing a problem:


Changes in crop type are reducing the risks of soil erosion in some areas. The area under high erosion risk crops such as potato and sugar beet has fallen while there has been an increase in the area under low erosion risk crops such as oil seed rape. However, this has been partly offset by the five-fold increase in the area of land under maize between 1988 and 2010, which is potentially increasing soil erosion risk in some parts of the country, particularly the south west of England.

And why has there been a five-fold increase in maize?


The area has since increased even more rapidly, to 196,000 hectares in 2014. Of this, the majority (93%) was grown in England. The main use of maize is as a forage crop to feed livestock. However, nearly 15% of maize production (29,000 hectares in 2014) is being grown to provide feedstock to anaerobic digestion plants for bio-energy.[34]

So a significant factor in the growth of the erosion problem is the increasing production of biofuels. And although the area concerned is only 29000 hectares at present, that number seems to be rising quickly: this document suggests that just a year earlier the area was only 15500 hectares, so it has doubled in the course of a year.

It is a pity then that the Committee on Climate Change has been actively encouraging the deployment of anaerobic digestion plants.


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