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Government and Union Provide Snow Support

03 April 2013

SCOTLAND – Livestock operations affected by adverse weather are about to receive aid to help with mounting financial pressures.

The government has announced a £500,000 boost to help farmers faced with disposing of dead livestock, killed by snow drifts.

Areas of the South-west around Dumfries, Ayrshire and the Isle of Arran have been struggling against last month’s snow which added to the legacy of a poor 2012 and total losses have not yet been finalised.

Adding to cash flow worries, rising input costs and delayed spring drilling the snow fall has compounded forage issues.

The National Farmers Union has put in place measures to help source and distribute stocks of fodder to its farmers.

Chief Executive of NFU Scotland Scott Walker said the cold spring is affecting everyone in Scotland, although some areas are particularly hit.

“Concerns over fodder supplies were flagged up last autumn in our wet weather survey with many farmers banking on an early spring to allow them to turn animals out of winter housing onto grass. That patently has not happened and there is pressure on all livestock enterprises to eke out valuable fodder stocks.”

The weather over recent days has been ‘catastrophic’ for some farms said Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland President who foresees a ‘perfect storm’ that will effect even the most robust units.

“The financial pressures will build day by day across much of Scotland, but without grabbing the headlines. The legacy of 2012 and the prolonged winter of 2013 will affect all areas of Scotland. The longer the severe weather goes on, the more extreme and widespread the impacts are going to be, ” said Mr Miller.

“I have asked the Cabinet Secretary and his officials to look in detail at what possible financial resources might be made available, and through what means such support might be best targeted to be most effective.”


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