Right now I am doing a MEP-project. I have shocked by how many plowed fields there are out there right now, which makes life for fieldworkers like me pretty unpleasent. One of my co-workers already had to be sent home because his ankle couldn't take any more.
To begin with I didn't understand why we had to struggle with these unusually many plowed fields, but I have by now found a couple of reasons for it.
First of the prices for grain on the world market are pretty high right now according to a farmer I talked to, especially the price on barley is high which makes it more rewarding economically for the farmers to plant crops on the fields instead of setting the fields aside and receiving compensation for this from the EU. Also the compensation for setting aside fields has been lowered quite a bit lately this also plays a big part I think.
At the same time we have a later winter here in Denmark which means that even though the fields have been plowed the farmers have not yet planted anything as it seems that barley needs some spring temperatures before being put into the ground.
So I am hoping for some higher temperatures soon to spare my legs from all of these plowed fields which is kind of rough to walk all day, planted fields are somewhat easier to handle.
I sure am going to miss all those nice set aside fields which are a joy to make MEP on, not only because it is not as tough for the body, but also because there is much more animal life there that makes it all the more enjoyable to do the work that I do.