The ten-hour ‘tractor aid’ run is being undertaken by Wakefield NFU member Philip Rowbottom and his neighbour Andrew Nicholson, who runs an agricultural contacting business.
The pair will drive two tractor and trailer rigs – each laden with 15 tonnes of silage, haylage, hay and straw - in a bid to raise awareness of the problems facing farmers hit by the Somerset floods.
The cost of the diesel is being met by local farmers and the Wakefield NFU branch and all the donated fodder and bedding has been sourced by members of the Barugh and District Ploughing Association.
“We deliberately wanted to take the donations by tractor and trailer to help highlight the plight of farmers so desperately in need on the Somerset Levels,” said Mr Rowbottom.
“The response from the local farming community has been amazing – in fact it only took a day to get more than we needed for a single load.
“The fact that Andrew Nicholson has offered to accompany me with a second load is superb as it means we will be able to take everything donated so far.
“Hopefully our journey will help highlight the solidarity we all feel with those farmers in Somerset who are facing such tough times. We hope drivers will give us a hoot on their horns when they see us en route to spur us on.”
He said Yorkshire had suffered its fair share of severe flooding, so farmers there were aware of the ‘heart-break it can bring’. “Seeing the situation develop over recent days in Somerset left many of us wanting to help and show just how the farming industry can respond,” he said.
NFU regional director Richard Pearson said: “The NFU is working round the clock to provide direct support to our members in the South West and to help co-ordinate the crisis response on the ground.
“In the North East, our members have really risen to the challenge, with donations ranging from feed and bedding, as in this instance, through to the offer of dry ground in the form of rearing facilities for beef cattle.”
As of Tuesday morning, the Environment Agency has issued 374 flood warnings and alerts across the UK, including 16 ‘severe’ warnings, indicating danger to life. Fourteen of those are along a stretch of the River Thames in Berkshire and Surrey, with two remaining in Somerset.
This Environment Agency map shows the locations where Flood Alerts, Flood Warnings or Severe Flood Warnings are in force.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain covering much of the country, with an amber warning for the South West.
There are various ways to support farmers hit by the Somerset floods.
How are you helping? Please comment below if there are any other ways to support Somerset farmers or just to leave a message of support.