Ritchie Calls For Weather Aid To Farmers

Margaret Ritchie, SDLP South Down Constituency representative, has called for financial help for farmers as they face challenging conditions as a result of persistent bad weather.

Margaret Ritchie said today: “I have been talking to many farmers over the last number of weeks who have told me about the challenging conditions they are facing in getting fodder and feedstuffs to their animals in the challenging wet inclement weather conditions which have persisted over a six month period since August of last year.

“Such weather conditions will have an impact on the fertility of the land and grassland production.  As a result of constant poor weather conditions farmers had to house animals inside in the early Autumn of 2017 – an uncommon occurrence if weather conditions are good.

“The prevailing poor weather added to the uncertainty of the level of future financial payments in a post Brexit situation is placing immense burdens on our local farming population in the Lecale and Ballynahinch areas.

“Considering the plight of local farmers, I have contacted the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to determine if they would provide a special package for farmers to assist their farm enterprises as they try to undertake farm husbandry in very inclement weather conditions”.