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Summit called to discuss impact of wet weather on Welsh farmers

16 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Photo by muffinn is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies MS, has called a summit later this week to discuss the impact of prolonged wet weather on the farming sector over recent months.

Wales has had one of the wettest months on record in March, leading to crops going unplanted, silage running short, and livestock being turned out onto sodden fields.

Over the autumn and winter successive named storms also battered the country leading to flooding in many areas.

Farmers have raised fears about this year’s harvest as late-drilled spring crops can perform badly in yield and are often of lower quality.

Persistent wet weather in the spring can also have a devastating impact on lambing.

Interventions

The cabinet secretary said he was calling the summit of key representatives on Thursday (18 April) to examine the impacts of the current and prolonged wet weather, “to explore what interventions may be necessary from across the supply chain to deal with the exceptional circumstances some farmers are facing”.

In a written statement announcing the summit, Mr Irranca-Davies observed: “It is clear that the changing climatic conditions and increasing weather extremes are already affecting Welsh soils, water resources and livestock, both from intense and prolonged rainfall and flooding as well as recurring periods of summer droughts and wildfires.

“Our future generations will be farming in much more challenging conditions, and we must act today to adapt and mitigate for this. It is essential that we take steps now to build resilience to the potential impacts of climate change.

“I fully recognise the impact the prolonged period of wet weather is having on our farmers, and I have seen first-hand the impacts it is having on our farmers during farm visits last week.

“This is affecting all sectors by increasing costs and delaying work on the land which will have short, medium and long-term impacts.

“The mental health of those involved in the agricultural industry is of great concern to me. I strongly encourage anyone suffering with stress or other mental health issues to ask for help.

“In this, the work of our farming charities is more important now than ever.  We can all work to raise awareness of the help which is available, so that people can access the support they need, when they need it. My thanks go to all those who provide this crucial support across Wales.”

Financial support

Last week, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Sam Kurtz urged the Welsh Government to provide “dedicated financial support” for farmers in Wales to ensure domestic food production.

In a letter to Mr Irranca-Davies, he described farmers as “currently facing almost unprecedented issues caused by the large amount of rainfall from successive storms this past winter”.

He added: “Given the unprecedented challenges facing the sector at present due to the sustained rainfall I would urge the Welsh Government to support farmers who have been severely affected and their businesses impacted.”


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Climate change is happening hard and fast. But prices going up also affect people that cannot afford those prices and we end up trying to import more. There are deeper issues with climate change, farming is part of it.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

How do they propose stopping the constant Rain, we could build more reservoirs but until Science finds a way to overcome ‘climate change’ I cannot see much hope for change. The People in charge do not take this seriously enough, most are older, so they will be gone when the worst effects hit No regard for the coming Generations. Oil and Gas need to be gone -now!

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