LETTER:Productive farms

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The Independent Online
From Mr James Dickson

Sir: We applaud the efforts of the organic industry, and certainly support its place in UK agriculture. The tone of your leading article, "An organic but lonely furrow", (17 May) would have many believe that most farmers are splashing pesticides on crops with gay abandon. In the UK we can not afford to do so. The prophylactic use of pesticides is a practice of the past; their specific use involves strict regulations and training.

We are proud of the fact that UK agriculture is one of the most productive in the world, and yet conscious of its responsibilities, perhaps more so than our competitors abroad.

There is reason to suppose that organic production alone could not feed the nation; any attempt to do so would involve an enormous increase in the price of food, making it, alas, difficult to buy a suit of environmentally friendly fibres.

Yours sincerely,

JAMES DICKSON

Flamstead, Hertfordshire

The writer is Chairman of the St Albans & Barnet branch of the National Farmers Union.

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