British farmers decry crop circle damage
While crop circles may serve as a wondrous sight to fans of the mysterious phenomenon, farmers in England remain understandably irritated by the curious formations which wind up costing unwitting growers a considerable amount of money. An enlightening new study from The Guardian found that, over the last five years, these intricate designs destroyed over 40 soccer fields worth of crops which could have been harvested and sold for approximately $32,000 in total. The barley and wheat, alone, would have supplied enough grain for a staggering 300,000 loaves of bread and the downed rapeseed due to the formations accounted for a whopping 600 liters of canola oil that was lost.
One victim of the phenomenon, farmer George Hosford, explained that a formation found in his wheat field back in July of 2021 "wiped out" somewhere between three and four tons of the essential grain. Declaring that "I don't believe this rubbish that it's done by aliens," the farmer instead pointed the finger at "people using ropes, boards and ladders to flatten parts of the crop." That said, he did express a certain amount of mystification over how they managed to create the design in "a really remote position" that "couldn't be overseen from anywhere aside from a small patch of my neighbors land."
Regardless of how the formation wound up being formed, Hosford indicated that it cost him a little over $1,000 in lost crops as well as the fertilizer that went into growing them in the first place. He also noted that while the designs do not render the crops totally useless, they are impossible to harvest once they are pressed down to a certain level, since "you scrape up soil and stones and you wreck the machine." The financial damage done by the designs has been exacerbated this year due to a spike in grain prices created by the war in Ukraine, which has made the phenomenon even more reviled by farmers unfortunate enough to find one of them in their fields, especially since they frequently spawn crowds of onlookers who cause even further damage.
Remarkably, Hosford noted that it was cost prohibitive to file an insurance claim regarding the incident and that he did not report the matter to police since he did not think they would consider it a serious issue. This would also seem to be the case with other farmers afflicted by the phenomenon as the Guardian found in England's Wiltshire County, which is the proverbial epicenter of crop circle activity, 15 formations appeared over the last two years and only three resulted in a call to the authorities. Alas, with the circle makers operating with virtual impunity, it would appear that the damage done by their handiwork will likely continue to be an irritating occupational hazard for growers in England.