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Water shortages on farms as scorching UK heatwave continues

Water companies have been working with farmers to maintain water supplies on their farms as the extreme dry weather caused widespread shortages, writes Jim Gerrard.

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Water shortages on farms as scorching UK heatwave continues

Soaring temperatures and minimal rainfall over the last few weeks have seen natural springs and on-farm reservoirs dry up, leaving many farms without water.

 

Water companies have been working with hauliers to deliver supplies to those affected.

 

Severn Trent said it had been working closely with farmers who had experienced supply interruptions during the heatwave, particularly in the north Derbyshire area.

 

“Where needed we have provided farmers with alternative supplies in the form of water bowsers or tankers to fill up private storage tanks,” the spokesman said.


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“We will continue to remain in contact with those small number of affected farmers to keep their water supplies going during the hot weather.”

 

Severn Trent Water also helped the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service tackle the moorland fires which continued to rage across parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

 

They have supplied tankers of recycled and raw water in an attempt to contain the wildfires.

 

The 2018 harvest campaign has kicked off around two weeks earlier than expected for some due to the unusually high temperatures and lack of rainfall.

 

Hampshire farmer, Martin Button began harvesting his Tower winter barley on June 28 – the first time he has ever started combining in June. “It is the first time I have harvested this early - we normally begin harvest around the July 14.

 

“Yields are averaging around 6-7t/ha, but we normally expect 8-8.5t/ha. The wheat will be a similar story with reduced yields expected – it’s not looking good.

“The trouble is the wheat is not ripening, it is dying,” he adds.

 

On July 2, Staffordshire farmer, Clive Bayle made a start harvesting a small acreage of winter barley grown on lighter land. “We cut some Tower winter barley and it was coming off at 13.5 per cent with a bushel weight of around 68.

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