The head of National Farmers' Union said a "major rethink" was needed in how flood defence spending was allocated.
"We must stop sacrificing our productive farmland to crazy, rampant and thoughtless urbanisation," Peter Kendall said at a conference.
Mr Kendall said: "58% of our most productive land sits below the 5m contour line and it is at risk from flooding. Policy makers simply have to put higher value on it."
He said that while farmland can and should in extreme circumstances act as a temporary buffer for water to protect people's lives and homes, it shouldn't be viewed as a long-term storage facility. "It's primary job is to feed this country," he added.
More top news
There could be the odd shower in Scotland, but on the whole it will be a warm day with plenty of sunshine.
More than seven million people in their 30s and 40s will lose out by £10,000 each under plans to increase the state pension age to 68.
The Duke of Cambridge reveals he often talks to Prince George and Princess Charlotte about their other grandmother.