Losing Agricultural Land

December 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm. Growing.

26 October 2010 Last updated at 11:02 Share this page Facebook ,Twitter, Share Email, Print Guernsey dairy farmers ‘squeezed’ off land Mr Watts said other interests were making demands on the grazing land Guernsey’s dairy farmers have claimed they are being squeezed off land by islanders’ demands for parkland, gardens and horse grazing.
James Watts, spokesman for Guernsey Farmers’ Association, said 3,000 vergees (1215 acres) had been lost in the last 10 years.
He said farmers were unable to match the higher rents paid by horse owners.
Mr Watts said they had agreed with the States to look at the issue once a review of the industry was completed.
“There’s 15,000 vergees zoned as agricultural in Guernsey, 10 years ago dairy farming used 10,000 vergees, last year we used 7,000 vergees so we’ve lost 3,000 vergees, that 300 vergees a year,” he said
A vergee is a standard measure of land in Guernsey
A vergee equals 17,640 sq ft, 1,639 sq m or 0.405 acres
It is 40 square Guernsey perches, a perch is 21 sq ft
“We need three vergees, preferably more, to feed a cow, so that’s 100 cows a year.”
He said the owners of fields could get double the rent by using it for horse grazing rather than cow farming.
Mr Watts said: “The horse community is getting larger and larger and they want land to look after their horses.
“You can’t farm without land, it would get to a point where it loses critical mass, the dairy says it needs to be a certain size to make it economic and the same would be true for land for farmers.”

More on This Story
Related storiesMilk to cost more than £1 a litre 13 SEPTEMBER 2010, GUERNSEY
Farming ‘needs help to survive’ 05 MAY 2010, GUERNSEY
Guernsey farmers at all-time low 26 APRIL 2010, GUERNSEY
Related Internet linksStates: Commerce and Employment
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