Farmers battle all weathers

Farmers talk to Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton about the impact this year's extreme weather has had on their businesses.
Farmers talk to Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton about the impact this year's extreme weather has had on their businesses.

Extreme weather events were a hot topic among farmers, politicians and farming union representatives at the Border Union Show.

Farmers highlighted the lack of support they received to help them cope with the bad winter weather in March, which combined with the impact of the recent hot weather on wheat and barley crops is taking its toll.

One suggestion has been for lowland and upland farmers to work together so that those who can bale straw help out those who are struggling.

Farmers are also asking politicians to consider a haulage subsidy to help keep the cost of fodder down for producers who have suffered from a prolonged period of bad weather.

NFUS president, Andrew Cormack was at the Borders Union Show, and said: “All sectors have suffered from unusual weather over the past year. Last autumn and this spring it was un-relenting rain and the late cold snap. Now, it is the prolonged dry spell, which we are far less used to, that has caught many out.

“We have launched a campaign to get livestock producers thinking about how they will overcome shortages of feed and bedding, and growers about what is best for their businesses too. That thought process needs to be flexible and businesses should consider what could be done collectively.

“With weather patterns changing from what we have been used to in the past, planning ahead will be key to successfully coping with the challenges ahead. It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in and what pressures you are facing you must make time to plan flexibly and as far ahead as possible.”

After speaking to farmers at the show Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “A fodder haulage subsidy would be very effective in keeping fodder prices down, similar to the one in operation in Ireland. I will be calling on the Scottish Government to look into this so that we can help out our hardworking farmers with the effects of the extreme weather.”