Farmers denounce the aberration of ecological sowing in the midst of drought, in Amiens and Beauvais [MIS À JOUR]

A hundred farmers demonstrated in front of the gates of the prefecture of the Oise to demand the abandonment, this year, of the ecological sowing imposed by Europe due to drought and the increase in energy prices. The farmers of the Somme are also concerned. Decryption.

By Matthieu Hérault and Laurence Dupin
Published: September 2, 2022 at 12:05 Modified: September 2, 2022 at 6:22 pm Reading time: 4 min

Faced with a historic drought and, also, with rising energy prices, farmers are sounding the alarm. A hundred of them demonstrated on Friday 2 September in Beauvais, in front of the gates of the prefecture of Oise, while those of the Somme made their voices heard through a press conference. They ask for a derogation from the sowing of Cipan on the SIE (Surfaces of ecological interest). Behind this acronym hide cover crops intended to trap nitrates (mixtures of herbs and legumes) allowing the soil to breathe and feed livestock. Each year, about 5% of agricultural land must be covered by these ecological seedlings. Or 40,000 hectares in the Oise and 1 million hectares at the level of Hauts-de-France.

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Photo: Manon Cruz

But this year, due to drought, “These seedlings will not grow. The seeds will not take root and will be useless. It is a waste", summarizes Régis Desrumeaux, president of the FDSEA (Departmental Federation of Farmers' Unions) of the Oise. According to the farmer, the Ministry of Agriculture understood this well by allowing the prefects to waive the lifting - the farmers then no longer have the obligation to result given the climatic conditions - and to sowing, aware that 'we' he cannot work the land in these conditions ".

Same observation in the Somme

Same observation of Denis Bully, president of the Somme FDSEA. " Some farmers planted two weeks ago, but nothing comes out. These crops will not give anything, because there is no moisture in the soil. We would like this derogation so that farmers are not penalized in the event of an inspection. "

Representatives of the FDSEA and young farmers gathered at Patrick Robillard, in Camon, near Amiens, to make their voices heard.
Representatives of the FDSEA and young farmers gathered at Patrick Robillard, in Camon, near Amiens, to make their voices heard. - Photo: Laurence Dupin

The harvest ended this year at the end of July and the farmers had already obtained an exemption until September 6, as they normally have to plant these crops between July 20 and August 15. But the drought continues ...

"It is a waste"

Problem, the regional prefecture does not intend, to date, to grant an exemption from sowing to farmers in Upper France. And for good reason: “It must be understood that the aid of the Common Agricultural Policy is subordinated to the sowing of these crops. Everything must therefore be done for it to grow. And the farmers must give themselves every chance that the seedling will germinate ", we explain to the prefecture of Oise. A position that has brought farmers out of their hinges: “It is an aberration. The ground is hard as asphalt. We use our tools to want to work at all costs. And nothing will grow. It is a waste", insists Régis Desrumeaux. A delegation of farmers was received on Friday 2 September in the prefecture of Oise.

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Photo: Manon Cruz

The challenge is both economic and ecological according to the agricultural world. “We don't want to waste fuel on sowing seeds that don't grow. Imagine the number of liters (of fuel, ed.) Wasted if you multiply by the number of hectares involved "sums up Thierry Fraiture, rancher and farmer from Saint-Léger-en-Bray, who placed a bucket of dry earth in front of the prefecture's gates. “Inside the cooperative it is very simple, I have banned the use of stubble growers. The equipment wears out when the soil is too hard. In normal times, the budget dedicated to the maintenance of equipment for the duration of a campaign is around 7,000 euros. Now we are at € 13,000 "annoys the farmer.

The President of the Region, Xavier Bertrand, and the Vice President in charge of Agriculture, Marie-Sophie Lesne, have sent a letter to the attention of the Prefect of the Region to report the dissatisfaction of the farmers and to ask for a change of foot of the regional prefecture. " We kindly ask you to suspend the regulatory obligation to plant in SIE on the regional territory by the end of 2022 in order to reduce the pressure on our farmers. “, They specify.

At a time when energy saving is on everyone's lips, the two elected officials specify: " To the extent that 12 liters of GNR are needed to sow 1 hectare of crop in SIE and that most of the seedlings will not take, it would be a waste of energy. "

Benoît Biberon, departmental councilor of the Oise, was present this Friday in Beauvais together with Maxime Minot, deputy LR, to promise in particular "Department assistance" in favor of farmers in difficulty and also asking for a change in the position of the regional prefect.

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Photo: Manon Cruz

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