Volatile weather serves up 'double whammy' for farmers

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw has highlighted the importance of an integrated approach to managing water as the country experiences an extended period of hot and dry weather followed by flash floods.

He said: “The recent dry weather is just the latest weather event to significantly impact farming this year. The very wet winter followed by a dry spring meant the whole of the country was badly affected by a lack of grass and crop growth.

“The soaring temperatures we have experienced recently has taken its toll on any remaining crop growth just before harvest and grass growth needed for livestock feed. This has left many livestock farmers concerned about a shortage of grass for feed and arable farmers worried about soil conditions for planting next year’s harvest.

“Meanwhile many farmers are facing a double whammy with sudden breaks in the weather causing flash floods. It is an example of an increasing pattern over the past few years where there has been too much water in some areas and not enough in others.

“The case for an integrated approach to managing water – both too much and not enough – is clear. When it comes to water delivery and water infrastructure initiatives, we need to see the government prioritising food and farming and recognising the importance of water in producing the nation’s food. As the past few months have shown, food security is absolutely vital and needs to be a key consideration within the government’s Green Recovery plan.”

:: Grass and fodder growth for winter livestock feed has suffered badly and the NFU has activated its Fodder Bank to match up farmers in need with those who have fodder available. Click here to view or place a listing.

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