SPECIAL REPORT: DROUGHT - Farmer says the drought is as bad as in 1976

IN 1976 farmers in Boston said it was so dry you could stick your arm down the cracks in the ground.

Although we are not quite at that stage, one Boston farmer said the land is as dry now as it was in the run up to that summer.

Mark Nundy, who runs Windy Ridge Farm, in Kirton Holme, with his dad Mick, said many growers in the area were getting concerned about the impact of the ongoing drought which has gripped the county for the past nine months.

Mark told The Standard: “The ground is very dry. There is no water in the dykes. It’s becoming quite a big issue.

“On our land in Boston we are in a better position then the others as our soils hold the moisture quite well, but it is a concern.

“If we don’t get any rain there is going to be reduced yields, the quality is not going to be what it should be.

“Another problem could be getting the pesticides to work and we could get the weeds.”

Last year, odd conditions created a bumper crop, which unfortunately pushed down the price of the vegetables. He added: “It’s a difficult one. You plan your crops up to one year in advance and you just don’t know what’s going to happen.

“You’re in the hands of the gods.”

The agricultural industry is one of the biggest consumers of water in the UK.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has urged the Government to enure farmers are given priority for water to prevent a food shortage.

Regional director of the CLA Nicola Currie said: “Agriculture is under incredible pressure as a result of the lack of rain through the winter. Other sectors have statutory powers and priority over agriculture, but to ensure food and environmental security it is vital we are given our fair share of water.”