As East Anglia braces itself for a second major storm in a fortnight, farming leaders have urged politicians to explain how they intend to protect vital farmland from flooding.

Following the devastating heavy rainfall of Storm Babet, which left vast areas of food-producing fields under water, another yellow warning has been issued by the Met Office for strong winds when Storm Ciarán arrives in the region later this week.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) has written an open letter calling on all political parties to set out their plans to protect farmland from flooding which "puts the country’s food security at risk".

The union is encouraging farmers to sign the letter, which urges the Environment Agency to deliver a "proactive plan for the watercourses and flood defences it manages", and for the government to "pay farmers fairly for their vital role in protecting homes and businesses when rivers breach their banks".

NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw said: "Despite promises made during each catastrophic flooding event, repeated governments of all parties have failed to get to grips with the challenge of managing watercourses and flooding.

"With another storm forecast this week, we need to see plans come forward as a matter of urgency."

Charles Hesketh, the NFU's regional policy manager for the East of England, added: “Areas of Norfolk and Suffolk experienced extreme flooding issues following Storm Babet with farmers’ fields, stores and livelihoods effectively providing a floodplain because of years of under investment and maintenance of watercourses, flood defences and storm drains.

"During this time of crisis we saw our farmers rise to the challenge to help local communities protect their homes, and rescue stranded cars especially in heavily affected areas such as Debenham [in Suffolk] which still has roads underwater."