Dutch farmer adapting to climate change
Nathan van Beek has an arable farm in Gilze. He is confronted more and more with extreme weather conditions. Therefore, in recent years he has had to adapt his company to climate change.
In 2018, the lion's share of potatoes was too small.
This year went fairly well.
We have had more rain.
So, who knows what will happen in 2020.
This is where all nutrients are stored or administered, it is where the plant grows.
If you handle the soil badly, you will have a poor yield.
When it is very dry, due to the extreme climate we have had in recent years, we want to maximize the soils’ moisture retention capacity, by for example adding compost.
When it's very wet, what you want is to buffer the rain water as much as possible.
The rainwater sinks into the ground and we want to keep it there as long as possible so plants can make use of it in drier periods.
We cannot stop climate change.
We can however anticipate climate change.
Being prepared for extreme weather within the existing frameworks.
Here we are on a watercourse where a weir has been installed to retain the water in the area for a longer period.
These were placed about five or six years ago.
And these help to anticipate climate change.
In 2016 a lot of rain fell in the summer.
2017 was a relatively normal year. 2018 was extremely dry, truly extremely dry.
I've never experienced that. In 2019, the Netherlands’ hottest spot was located here.
If you have crop failures two years in a row similar to 2018, you might as well sell your business.
A few years ago, I would have said that it will become a challenge, and now it is a challenge.