Farming Matters: Farmers unite to help flood victims

Farmers are some of the biggest victims of the floods
Farmers are some of the biggest victims of the floods

Farmers have always been at the mercy of the elements. But the terrible trials of the Somerset farmers, who have seen their land submerged under water for weeks on end, and their livestock yards and food stores flooded, is extreme.

Across the country farmers have pulled together, working with agricultural buyers and suppliers, to help get feed - hay and silage - and straw bedding to the flood-hit farmers.

Young farmers clubs have also joined in the relief effort, helping with transportation and emergency supplies. And even the Queen, a keen countrywoman, has joined in.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen is supporting Somerset farmers affected by the flooding on the Somerset Levels by contributing feed and bedding from the royal farms at Windsor.”

What the long term effects of this will be on individual farms and farmers, and on the community as a whole, we have yet to see.

At a meeting of the Efra Select Committee last week NFU President Peter Kendall said these extreme weather events have shown the importance of ensuring everything is done to protect agricultural land and enable farmers to meet future food production challenges.

He said: “Britain’s soils, seasonality and climate give us the natural ingredients for a productive farming sector both now and in the medium term as our climate becomes more unpredictable.

But investment in science and knowledge transfer will be vital in helping us capitalise on these natural advantages and enabling UK farming to maximise its food producing potential.”