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£250k for weather hit farmers

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
£250k for weather hit farmers

A £250,000 fund has been announced by the Scottish Government for farmers to help address the impact of this year’s extreme weather.

It follows several weeks of discussions between the National Farmers’ Union, its members, MSPs and the Scottish Government’s Weather Advisory Panel on the difficulties and challenges that the prolonged spell of poor weather has had on the farming sector.

The fund will help offset the cost of disposing of fallen cattle and sheep. There will also be additional funds for the RSABI charity, who provide emotional, practical and financial support to farmers, their families and their staff.

And longer term solutions to feed and fodder shortages are to be tackled at a summit involving commercial feed companies and co-operatives to explore what more can be done to increase resilience and collaboration.

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick, pictured above, said: “I have seen and heard about the huge impact and cost that this unprecedented spell of bad weather has had on our farmers and crofters. We have been feeding that information into Scottish Government and politicians and this package is welcome recognition of the exceptional circumstances.

“No sector has been immune and whether you grow crops or keep livestock, no one has escaped the impact of the weather. That said, the nation’s farmers and crofters are, once again, proving themselves to be incredibly resilient and have been doing all they can to ensure the wellbeing of their stock and to get crops into the ground, but it is taking a toll on businesses and on the people.”

He believes the impact from the weather will be long term and added: “A good summer won’t undo all the damage done by the wet weather we have seen since late summer 2017 and the accumulated effect will still be felt next winter. Therefore, we welcome the plan to identify longer term solutions to increase the industry’s resilience.

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has also welcomed the funding and said: “The Scottish Government’s £250,000 funding package will be a great help to farmers in South West Scotland dealing with the knock-on effect of the prolonged wet and severe weather over the last few months.”

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