Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has said is bracing itself for a “surge in calls for help”, because of the summer heatwave.
The charity, which supports farmers who are struggling financially, said that over an eight day period from July 16-24 it received 31 calls and referrals for help.
Malcolm Thomas, RABI chairman said that he expected a busy autumn and winter for RABI after labelling the number of calls received so far as “exceptionally high”.
Many livestock farmers have already been forced to feed winter rations to their stock and having to buy more feed is expected to quickly drive up overheads.
Thomas said: “We’ve not seen weather like this in decades – and it’s worth remembering that it comes hot on the heels of a long cold winter and a particularly wet spring this year, which resulted in floods in many areas.
“Farmers have been constantly forced to reassess and change plans for some time now. Many had to house cattle indoors much longer than usual in March and April, depleting valuable food stocks in the process.”
Malcolm Thomas continued: The overwhelming feedback I’m getting from farmers at the Royal Welsh is that the fallout from this heatwave is already extremely serious for our industry, and it’s likely to get worse. A lot of people are affected and deeply concerned.
“We usually find there’s a time lag between someone suffering hardship and contacting us for help, so we expect to receive even more calls in the coming weeks and months. Drought-related issues will last long after the rains have come. A lot of farmers will be playing catch-up through the autumn and beyond.”
“Whatever lies ahead, however, RABI remains in a strong position to support those in financial need in the farming industry.”