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Farm charities offer help as farmers fight appalling weather

Farming organisations are offering a helping hand to farmers who have been thrashed by the recent extreme weather conditions.
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The Prince’s Countryside Fund authorised £219,000 from its emergency relief fund to go to farming help organisations during the Easter period.

 

Snow and cold weather is contributing to a shortage of forage and forcing farmers to buy in expensive feed to see their livestock through.

 

In Northern Ireland, where hundreds of farmers have lost thousands of sheep, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said she would press for a hardship payment to those affected.

 

It comes as farms across the UK were been battered in what is likely to be the coldest March on record.

 

Vast numbers of sheep and cattle are thought to have been buried in several feet of snow or frozen to death on hill farms around the UK, with the north west and north east being the worst hit.

 

The grim situation prompted the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo)to urge collection firms to discount their prices.

 

NFSCo bosses today (Tuesday) wrote to the 100 independent collectors which it works with to encourage them to submit prices covering the disaster collection of sheep.

 

Following similar conditions in 2010, NFSCo amended its price categories to enable collectors to offer what is known as the ‘10+ price’ for collection of ten sheep or over.

 

NFSCo’s chairman Michael Seals has written to collectors to encourage them to submit prices for this category in order to assist farmers who have been particularly badly affected.

 

NFSCo said it had also asked collectors to submit data on livestock losses for this spring as soon as they can, in order to provide as comprehensive a picture of livestock losses as quickly as possible.

 

This data will then be released to the devolved Governments and industry organisations to enable comparisons with previous years.

 


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