UFU President visits farmers hit by snow and welcomes opening of DARD’s weather helpline

Monday, 25 March, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union President Harry Sinclair has been out visiting farmers in the Glens of Antrim today to see firsthand the impact the extreme winter weather has had on farms, livestock and rural families and has welcomed the announcement that DARD is opening a weather helpline for farmers affected by the snow.

Harry Sinclair said; “In the past few days, farmers in some parts of the country have faced extreme weather conditions the likes of which have not been seen for decades. Hill farming in Northern Ireland is not easy at the best of times, but the severe weather of this past weekend has compounded this challenge even further. The impact the snow has had on some of our most remote farms is still to be seen and over the next while as the snow starts to melt we will begin to understand the full situation.
“Farmers affected by the snow need all the help they can get and I welcome DARD opening a weather helpline. We know that this type of approach has worked well in the past. Three years ago, when most of the country experienced freezing weather conditions numerous farms across the country were without water as pipes froze. DARD’s helpline at that time was extremely useful, as it allowed them to get firsthand information about what was happening on the ground. I am also pleased to see the Agriculture Minister calling on the Executive to ensure all resources are made available to farmers affected by the snow and I would encourage all the Departments respond to these calls positively.”

The DARD weather helpline number is 0300 200 7852.