Opinion: doubt! – countryside life

HAnd some time ago, at the invitation of the Secretary General of FESASS (European Federation for Animal Health and Safety), Alain Cantaloupe, I was invited to give a presentation on biosecurity at a COST meeting. This is a European Union-funded science and technology collaboration that enables researchers and innovators to create their own research networks on a wide range of scientific topics, the so-called COST procedures.

I have stressed several times – after all, it was an audience of scholars – that it is important to speak to the farmers in order to treat things with common sense from the point of view of the cattle-raiser and in this way to carry out practically feasible measures in business operations.

The conference took place at the GUM (Ghent University Museum). Particularly the “Forum for Science, Skepticism, and Art” slogan, which has stuck with me for a long time. New insights and discoveries can only grow if one dares to question existing opinions and knowledge.

Fallen leaves

When I apply this suspicion to everything that is presently happening to our sector, I seriously wonder what arrogance the political class imposes its right on the agricultural population, without giving a moment to think about the consequences of their short-sighted, mostly ideological decisions. .

A very practical example: I have a plot of land with 8 large oaks along the west side, I can see very clearly today that the Italian ryegrass, which was sown as an offspring of maize, is much larger in circumference where the leaves fall in autumn and has a noticeably darker green than rest of the batch. I suppose the falling leaves of trees and shrubs in the nature reserve have the same effect, not to mention the mountains of rotting clippings in the nature areas after so-called management work. Can I then have my doubts about the claim that reducing livestock breeding will have a significant effect?

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Open sewer

I recently spoke to a retired building contractor, who was alarmed by the fact that there still isn’t a sewer system on his street, despite the fact that the municipality once stated that in 2015 all homes would be connected to the sewer network. What bothers him most is the fact that the canal next to his house is an open sewer with a musty stench necessary in warm weather, as there is also a veritable rat infestation. Suddenly he made the remark that the moat flows at the end into the watercourse that flows through my house plot. It was incomprehensible to him that I had to respect a fertilizer-free zone of 3 meters, while waste water from dozens of houses flowed through the same watercourse! Therefore, can I also express my doubts about this procedure?

Agricultural area not suitable for agricultural use

From now on, the so-called pension farmers want to be excluded from the CAP installments, supposedly to give young farmers the opportunity to acquire these lands. Allow me to express my doubts about this measure, when I recently read that in the province of Antwerp 35% of the agricultural area is not for agricultural use, that the government stimulates nature associations by massive subsidies for the purchase of land and its use in agricultural areas. as a nature reserve? And what about the Agency for Nature and Forests (ANB), which uses government money to buy good farmland for afforestation? Not to mention the “greening” and “greening” of the agricultural area. While targeted farmers who simply want to continue practicing their passion after retirement are, as it were, stigmatized as spoiled artisans who deny young farmers their future.

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Marcel Helin

Megan Vasquez

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