Farmers urged to prepare for winter

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Scottish farmers have been urged to ensure they are ready for winter - as the country recovers from the first major storm of the season.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead today reminded farmers of the precautions they could take to ensure they were as well placed as possible to cope with extreme weather.

Many farmers and rural businesses have this week found themselves facing problems caused by power cuts, fallen trees, localised flooding and storm damage, although there have been no reports of serious problems to date.

Mr Lochhead said: “After a particularly mild November, winter is really making its presence felt and the conditions this week have been extreme in many parts of the country.

“This has inevitably led to problems for many people and the very nature of the job means that farmers are always badly affected by weather-related issues. They are usually even busier as they clear up after the storms, often helping the local community as well.

“Most people have already taken sensible precautions - from stocking up on feed and bedding to ensuring adequate insurance cover is in place - but there are always one or two people who are caught out by a change in the weather.

“Many of the precautions which can be taken are simple and a handy checklist is available on the Ready Scotland website. Scotland’s weather is always unpredictable but one thing we can safely predict is that there will be more bad weather to come before spring arrives.”