The removal of productive farmland from agricultural production topped the concerns of farmers who voiced opposition to rewetting being used as a measure suggested by the State to reduce emissions and improve biodiversity.

Farmers reported widely varying views on the rewetting of farmland in the latest Irish Farmers Journal readers’ survey, but an analysis of farmers’ reponses suggest that many express strong outright opinions against the measure.

Respondents who voiced opinions against rewetting used words including “ridiculous”, “madness”, “crazy” and “criminal” to describe it.


Another sentiment which emerged when farmers were asked to describe their view on rewetting was that of rewetting being a reversal of previous investment in land drainage and farm improvement.

Concerns were found to centre on the removal of good-quality farmland from production, with some of those open to the measure if it was limited to “poor soils”, “marginal land” or “small parcels of wet land”.

More fears were cited on the possible impact on food security and the wider farming sector if land was removed from agriculture or productivity decreased by rewetting.

Several others stated that the measure should only be rolled out on State lands.

Another group of respondents indicated that they did not have sufficient knowledge of rewetting to give an informed opinion. Only a few who provided additional comments to the survey said that they viewed the practice as being beneficial to the environment.