Poultry giant Moy Park said about 55,000 of its adult birds were killed during the August 22 floods when 63 per cent of the month’s average rainfall fell in a nine-hour downpour.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) has today (September 4) stepped up to offer assistance, teaming up with Rural Support NI and its emergency fund to kick-start immediate and long-term recovery, whilst the Northern Ireland Agriculture Department (DAERA) has applied to the EU to up the October CAP payment from 50 to 70 per cent.
It has encouraged affected farmers to submit a force majeure application before September 14 to prevent a loss of EU payment.
Claire Saunders, director of the PCF said: “Homes and farms have been flooded, infrastructure destroyed and livestock drowned, but the full impact of these floods is yet to be seen.
“Farmers are having to house livestock that would normally be grazing until October, which going forward will cause feed shortages and cashflow problems.
“This is a devastating blow to farm businesses which are already hard pressed, and poses a serious threat to farmers livelihoods and the viability of their businesses.”
The disaster was likely the next biggest agricultural event since the 2013 Welsh snow storm where more than 50,000 farm animals were wiped out.
It comes as Hurricane Harvey continues to rage in Texas, USA with 1.2 million beef cattle caught in the rage.
A spokesperson for Moy Park added: “Due to the recent extreme weather, two of our farming partners in Co Tyrone unfortunately experienced livestock loss and damage to their farm buildings.
“As per our operating procedures, the appropriate agencies were informed. We are working closely with the farmers and the relevant bodies to help get these family-run businesses fully operational again.”
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