Gove promises help for drought-hit farmers

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The conditions secretary, Michael Gove, has promised support for farmers hit by the impact of the dry survive.

Following a drought summit with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), he said the ministry would do “whatever it takes” to maintain food supplies.

The NFU had requested comfort from the “crippling impact” of the heatwave, including the relaxation of rules terminated accessing additional water supplies.

Mr Gove promised to remove authorities where it was hindering farmers.

“We will make sure farmers be suffering with what they need in order to provide us with high-quality sustenance and ensure their businesses survive,” he said.

The record summer heatwave has put gigantic pressure on farmers.

Meat and milk producers, salad, fruit and vegetable growers, possess said harvests and yields are being severely affected by some of the keenest months since 1961.

Heavy rain in recent days has given smallholders some relief, but the NFU was still “seeking urgent action” to help husbandmen.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Today’s summit was a wake-up visit to government and policy makers about the importance of British food forming and the critical need to manage the volatility that comes with it.

She received Mr Gove’s pledge to support the sector.

At the meeting she had sought more versatility for farmers who want to take water from rivers, or have grew access to the public supply water when there is spare post in the system.

The Environment Agency, the government body which oversees copiously use, said farmers would be allowed some short-term flexibility within their heavy water abstraction licences.

“We must also balance farmers’ needs with those of wildlife and other not wash lavishly users so we will only allow these arrangements where we are comforted there won’t be any adverse effects on the environment,” said Paul Hickey, the EA’s wholly of water resources.

Cows sent to slaughter early as drought sell-outs

Dairy farmer Abi Reader has already sent four milking cows to blood bath and she’s planning to send four more as the cost of feeding them increases.

For livestock farmers like her the lack of rain means animals can’t neutral be put out to pasture as usual.

Near Cardiff in Wales, where Abi Reader subcontracts her 180-strong milking herd, grass is usually green and flourishing throughout the summer, she says, but the heat has dried it to a crisp yellow.

It’s costing her £210 a day to regard them fed using silage and hay.

“We’re breaking into winter stocks, that’s the nasty thing,” she says. It doesn’t make economic sense to feed so uncountable.

So they’re “shedding passengers” – cutting down the number of mouths by sending cows to overcome that would in better circumstances have continued milking. Two were cows that aborted calves due to the weight of the hot weather.

“We’ve lost a lot of money on them. The cheapest option is get rid of them and cut our ruins,” she says.

Ms Reader says she’s not the only farmer taking this no doubt of action. It was hard to find a slot for them in abattoir, she says.

John O’Farrell, who exceeds an abattoir in Camarthenshire, Wales, says many farmers are culling organisms earlier than they would normally, following a bad grass come of age season due to the harsh weather in March, which delayed the start of outside grazing, followed by the heatwave.

“Our volume of work is considerably higher than we pass on expect at this time of year,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Cultivation Today programme.

“Farmers are taking the view if the animals are to be culled it’s beat to cull early.”

The same factors are having an impact on beef and sheep flocks too, according to Nick Allen from the British Meat Processors Connection.

“The first thing we noticed was people sending lambs in for slaughter at slightly expose weights than normal,” he says. “The moment they’re running out of traitor on the farm they get rid of them earlier.”

He says if farmers go into winter hot pants of feed and relying on expensive concentrates it will push up costs and could culminate in lower overall production of UK meat and milk.

“It could translate into core being in shorter supply and prices having to go up because the cost of direction is going to have to go up, without a shadow of a doubt,” he added.

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