Farms at risk due to long dry summer

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:15 09 August 2018

Some farms are being forced to use winter feed.

Some farms are being forced to use winter feed.

Archant

Farms in North Somerset are struggling during the hot and dry summer.

The National Farmers Union held a drought summit last week to address the problems farmers are facing, including water shortages, limited forage for livestock to graze on and losing vital crops due to scorching temperatures.

North Somerset farmers are under pressure to find ways to feed livestock and to keep afloat during a prolonged period of hot weather following a harsh winter.

The director of Lye Cross Farm in Redhill, Nick Green, said: “If two inches of rain fell this weekend, we’d still have this issue for the next six months.

“A prolonged dry spell has meant the grass has stopped growing, and now some farmers have had to give their livestock winter feed because of it.”

July saw some parts of the UK reach temperatures of 35C, and it was the joint second warmest month, along with 1983, on record since 1910.

Nick said: “If there’s a shortage of wheat and barley, which we put in with our hay to feed the animals, the price of these raw materials will naturally increase.

“In previous years farms would have imported feed, but this is a problem because other countries are experiencing even longer periods of hot weather than we are.

“This is now a global issue and it’s affecting farms with 50 up to 500 livestock, so it’s not just us – we are all suffering.”

Weston’s distribution business the Regency Purchasing Group has also warned of an additional problem – due to the cost of feeding livestock going up for farmers, so too will the price of goods people buy in the shops.

The managing director of the business, Alex Demetriou, said: “Sadly, this will inevitably have a knock-on effect to the cost of produce.

“It’s not just because farmers are having to source and replace the winter feed they set aside, but also because of the amount of water their animals require during periods of warm weather – which is significantly higher than usual.”

“Harvests are generally lower, and while some producers have irrigation systems to help combat the heat, the costs of using them is becoming more expensive.

“Everyone has enjoyed some wonderful weather recently, but farmers, fruit and vegetable producers are now crying out now for a decent period of rain.”

More from Weston Mercury

45 minutes ago

A Weston bar has had a £10,000 makeover to ‘brighten it up’ and give it a new feel.

Read more

Work has begun on a new £9million Locking Parklands primary school after years of delays.

Read more
08:05

Families celebrated the start of Christmas in Uphill at the village bazaar.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

American nu metal band P.O.D. will perform at the O2 Academy Bristol early next year.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A Weston body builder with stage two cancer raised £1,000 for charity by climbing Mount Snowdon.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:18

A woman has died today (Wednesday) after she was hit by a van.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:13

It’s that time of year again – oh yes it is! – when flamboyant costumes, dazzling sets and cheesy comedy are the order of the day so, getting into the festive spirit last night (Tuesday), I ventured forth with my 10-year-old son into panto-land at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:58

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit to celebrate businesses and producers in Worle.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:57

Weston Athletic Club’s annual Christmas Cracker race took place on Weston beach with more than 2,000 runners taking part.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:31

Weston Athletic Club runners took part in the Full Monty Cute, a hilly 10-mile course in South Somerset.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: -2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists