Farmers battle extreme weather

Extreme weather is testing farmers, who are having to work around the clock to look after the welfare of their animals.

The National Farmers’ Union has said, despite the weather, farmers are continuing to deliver to keep Britain moving. The unseasonable snow and ice across the country has caused disruption for both homes and businesses and has left farmers to battle against the elements, to ensure their farms keep working and their animals are cared for.

NFU vice-president Adam Quinney said: “These are unusual conditions and are totally out of character for the time of year. Farmers are resilient and are working around the clock to look after the welfare of their animals.

“It has put an extraordinary strain on the industry after what has been a torrid 12 months of extreme weather, compounded by the fact that many farmers’ sheep are lambing at the moment.

“Sheep are adapted to living outside, but it is unusual to be lambing in this weather and we do expect to see some losses in areas hardest-hit by the weather. I’ve talked to families where everyone is out all day and night just trying to get feed out there.”

Meanwhile, farmers in Ireland are facing similar, if not worse, conditions. However, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has praised the efforts of the many farmers who have battled throughout the weekend, despite persistent heavy-lying snow.

Deputy president for the UFU Barclay Bell said it had been a very tough couple of days for many farming families. He highlighted the fact that the bad weather had come at the worst time – lambing season – and the UFU said the full scale of the picture would appear in the coming days, with concerns remaining about animal losses.