The U.K. Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs is discussing rules that would prevent farmers from contributing to floods. Experts hold farmers partially responsible for the severe flooding in Somerset and other areas, citing certain farming practices. Scientists are particularly concerned about the production of maize, as farm vehicles compact the soil of maize fields, causing significant runoff. To combat this problem, Exeter University’s Professor Richard Brazier recommends banning the cultivation of maize on steep fields. He considers maize farming in the west particularly dangerous, as there are no rules governing crop production. He also points out that existing rules governing soil management are often ignored by farmers, since the chance of inspection is highly unlikely. Farmers, however, oppose further regulation, and the National Farmers Union is currently trying to reduce the number of rules governing farmers. For the full story, see